First things First. The picture quality of the second issue of Marrow Bones (Ollie’s Tomb) FAR better than the first issue. I’m not sure if it’s the resolution on my computer that made the first issue a little less than the second one, but I’m willing to bet Mr. Orchard just upped his game is all!
Ollie’s Tomb actually takes place before Issue one. Which is kind of cool. In this, we’re introduced to a Nora whose already familiar with Marrow Bones and the wonderfully named Crowsnest Cemetery while Ollie the Vampire is about to come out of his tomb for the first time in what we may assume has been a very, very long time.
The first issue was an intimate play of vignettes introducing us to the characters. Ollie’s Tomb however, feels like a stroll through A.A. Milne’s 100 Acre Wood combined with hayao miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (the zombie’s are fairly reminiscent of the Kodamas, aren‘t they!)
A Lonely Nora wanders through the cemetery with the rumbling foreshadow of trouble (no literally, there’s a storm coming). Nora’s interaction with Ollie is a quite one of hope and optimism. She’s lonely, but she’s not desperate - she just wants a friend.
Ollie is reluctant, but when the rain falls and the lightning crashes, the real trouble begins and Ollie must sacrifice his solitude for an act of kindness towards a stranger.
If you want a real feel for the kind of love that goes into this book, you needn’t look any further than page 17 (Ollie’s shoe flying through the air) and Page 18 - here’s the real bread and butter of a man that’s passionate about his work. The rainy scenes look lovely, but one particular panel stands out. Panel two has a “Crash” sound effect when Ollie smashes into a headstone - if you look closely, you can see that Eric took the time to add just a few raindrops bouncing off of that particular sound effect. That’s love.
A story of a lost ghoul concludes this rainy day as we say goodnight to another Marrow Bones tale.
All in all, a terrific follow up to the beginning of a magical little story. No Gord brothers this time (darn it!) but check out the Librarian in the introduction (what’s up with those CRAZY Legs?!) Also, the first book did so well that a lot of artists contributed some very fine pin up’s near the end of the issue.
For more Eric Orchard and Marrow Bones goodness - check it out here!