World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

9th December 2022

Stoneseeker #1-3 (review)

Creator: Scott Pritchett

Stoneseeker is a comic from Australian creator Scott Pritchett. The promotional copy for the first issue reads as follows:

When Geologist Irin enters the snowy town of Peake, she asks the impossible – to cross the Floating Isles in search of a legend. Only one optimistic boy, Peake (named after the town), is willing to guide her. Their journey leads them off the well-worn tourist path and to places only the magic of Geology can take them.

And the promotional copy for issue 2:

As Irin and Peake continue their journey to The Floating Isles, Irin will have to share her closely held secrets to earn Peake’s trust. Meanwhile, Alistair and Oella finally catch their runaway colleague and will do anything to stop her reaching her goal. Every step Irin takes reveals more of the Isles’ deep mysteries.

More than that and we risk spoilers.

Pursuits are a variation of the archetypical quest plot. In this case, the pursuit does not involve any sort of potentially evil or adversarial contest between two or more parties, but instead involves a chase of a well-meaning but rogue magician named Irin. She is pursued by someone who is apparently her mentor (Alistair), and some heavy muscle in the unexpected form of a female warrior and her uncannily accurate spears (Oella), all rendered with beautiful art (which reminds us vaguely of Chriss Gossett’s amazing work on The Red Star back in the early 2000s, but with much less computer rendering).

The story reminds the reader of what it must have been like for Westerners to have encountered gum powder for the first time. Here is a substance unexpectedly capable of explosion. The power of volcanoes was now in the hands of humans, provided that the human in question had sufficient accurate knowledge to reproduce the reaction leading to the explosion. Stoneseeker explores a world where geologists are sorcerers. The power of the stones so far range from explosions to largescale levitation. Each has its own particular attribute, and often their own characteristics, so as to better identify them within Irin’s large storage chest. There are no spells and glowing runes here. Instead, Irin relies upon what appears to be honed knowledge.

Irin seeks to cross an improbable place called The Floating Isles – huge floating monoliths, which are connected to her dead father. Perhaps the most entertaining thing about this comic is the fact that it is set in a place named Peake, which is once described as being fearful of strangers, but by reason of the wonder of The Floating Isles has become a tourist destination. Tourist destinations attract a certain type of tacky business model, and we see that here in abundance: there are souvenir stores, tour guides, rickshaws, and the inevitable predation of commerce as merchants try to out-price the competition. Into this borderline grubby locale is thrust the three major characters, with some of the inhabitants’ children for comic relief. (One of them is named Peake, after the town, leading to some amusing dialogue.) It is an entertaining mix of players, ranging from the intense to the frivolous and money hungry.

Stoneseeker is available on https://www.scottpritchettcomics.com/