Indie Comics Reviews, Interviews, and News!

Story and Art by Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr
Colors and Effects by Steve Canon
Edits by Nicole D’Andria
Published by Scout Comics

“Evelyn chronicles her adventures in a journal as she and her friends make their way across the enchanted continent of Yalastra in search of the historian, Norriva, who may hold the key to finding pure magic.”

Story trigger warning: suicidal thoughts, depression

Never did I ever think I would cry over a fictional floating eyeball, but here we are. Naso and Muhr are crafting a legendary story here with By The Horn and I am so happy to see it return for issue 7 of the Dark Earth arc in the way they did. It is a comic of just splash pages that showcases the fact that Jason and Steve have been leveling up their artwork since issue 6 (and it was already phenomenal). And it is a genius idea to use this method to show off parts of Elodie, Sajen, Evelyn, and Zoso’s trek across the continent of Yalastra.

Markisan pushes the story forward while giving us a flashback of what Evelyn has been through since being created by Futen, an evil mage that was killing magical creatures for their power, utilizing journal entries from Evelyn. The trauma that Evelyn has experienced becomes even more apparent as she tells this story and the emotional state she was in at the time. This issue goes to some dark places. If you’re in a dark place, wait until you’re doing okay before picking it up, but I do feel that the team masterfully handles sensitive topics of suicide and depression while building a bigger emotional connection to Evelyn. This is the second By The Horns issue to make me cry and I get a feeling it will not be the last.

The artwork is some of the most beautiful pages I have ever seen in a comic as the splendor of Zalastra gets put in the spotlight on each splash page. Steve’s colors feel even more lifelike as our cast of characters traverses through different levels of lighting and diverse terrain. Jason’s lines and shading bring so much depth and emotion to the characters.

This fantasy world gets easier and easier to fall into and get lost. It’s a story that is going down as one of the best fantasy comics ever. And this issue is possibly the best issue of By The Horns so far. I can’t wait to see each issue continue to outpace this.

Rating 10/10

By The Horns: Dark Earth #7 is out March 8th, 2023!

By The Horns: Dark Earth part one was the winner of Best Scout Comic of 2022 and second place for Best Indie Comic of 2022 on the first annual Indies Awards! Check it out here:

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