Writer: Brandon Graham
Artist: Marian Churchland
Brandan Graham is known for creating rich science fiction and fantasy worlds that often captivate readers. 8house is divided into multiple miniseries that each focus on separate characters and adventures. All of these series are connected and are a part of a much larger world. The first miniseries is 8house: Arclight, and features two characters as they travel through the borderlands of their kingdom.
8house: Arclight #1 focuses on Sir Arclight and Lady as they search for something that isn’t made clear until the end of the issue. Graham throws the reader right into the world, refusing to hold any hands as the story is told. While this may turn off some readers, it allows for the reader to put everything together on their own, and it leads to a great feeling of interactivity.
Everything feels fresh and avoids the archetypes and clichés typically found in the genre. Despite being a knight, Arclight isn’t your typical white, cis-gendered character in armor. Arclight appears to be without gender, which is certainly refreshing. Arclight and Lady’s (who also lacks an unconventional appearance) relationship comes across as natural, and the two have a clear admiration for each other. This issue mostly focuses on the interactions between the two, and while very little actually happens, it’s still very entertaining due to the beautiful art.
Marian Churchland’s art is nothing short of gorgeous. The world surrounding Arclight and Lady is full of color and magical designs. The pencils are whimsical and light-hearted, and make this title look as if it came from a storybook. Churchland’s design choices for this world are exceptional, making the world appear to be vast and unfamiliar. When paired with Graham’s narrative, it makes for an issue that allows for a sense of wonder to develop in the reader’s mind. Towards the end of the issue we get a look at Arclight’s life within the city, and it allows for even more exceptional design choices. Beautiful colors, weightless dancers, and wonderful outfits that were inspired by Yoshitaka Amano fill the last few pages.