ShortBox fans, get excited. The much acclaimed indie comics line announced on Monday that it’s releasing free copies of Beneath the Dead Oak Tree by Emily Carroll, with digital editions of more comics to be released in the coming weeks. (Honestly, even if there wasn’t a global pandemic stopping us from leaving my house… this news would give anyone a good excuse to hunker down to read some comics).

As an added bonus, many of ShortBox’s titles are already sold out in physical form, so this is the best way to get hold of some of the best comics being produced. Launched by Akhtar about five years ago as a subscription box  for indie comics, ShortBox has since published many notable comics, such as Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend (currently available from Silver Sprocket.)


As for ‘Oak Tree’, the 28 page comic originally released about two years ago and The Beat’s own Heidi MacDonald described it as “mighty tasty,” which is a very ironic compliment. Like Carroll’s other award-winning work, Beneath the Dead Oak Tree is an settling horror story laced with notes of shame and betrayal – all written in a loose rhyming scheme reminiscent of a folk folk song. It will take but a moment download but will linger in your memory for much longer…and that’s Caroll’s genius.

(Please note although it’s free to download you can also throw a few bucks in to help ShortBox weather this tumultuous time.)

Here’s the official synopsis from ShortBox:

Murder, decadence, cowardice, guilt, and aristocratic foxes in wigs all combine in this gorgeously poignant poem/folksong from Emily Carroll, about the futility and heartbreak one can run into when dealing with vengeance. 28pp, full colour, A5.


beneath the dead oak tree