REVIEW: CELESTE / AUTHOR: I.N.J. CULBARD / ARTIST: I.N.J. CULBARD / PUBLISHER: SELFMADEHERO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Celeste tells the tale of three strangers – a suicidal Japanese cartoon, a female albino and a man stuck in a traffic jam – as everyone around them vanishes and they are left to their own devices in a world without judgement. But then they realize they are not quite alone – the man finds another lost soul locked in the trunk of a car within the traffic jam, while the cartoonist is surrounded by the demons of Aokigahara forest.
Culbard's drawing style is expressive and detailed ,which is exactly what is needed in this emotional tale. At times his creations are highly disturbing (such as the demons in the woods) and others are simply breathtakingly beautiful (such as the snapshots of space). The individual stories themselves are tales of self-discovery and redemption, facing fears and self-doubts. These separate storylines also give Culbard the opportunity to mix genres such as horror and science fiction laced with philosophy to keep the reader guessing. Celeste is a thing of beauty both for the story and for the style.