Comic Review: The Wake by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy


The Wake is a new 10 part comic series by American Vampire writer Scott Snyder and Hellblazer: City of demons artist Sean Murphy.

Hand the wake titles

I really loved this comic because of its ambition and scope. Snyder has woven a story out of sea myths, folklore and fable that comes crashing into reality with a terrifying discovery on the bottom of the ocean.

It’s epic in scale, part one takes us from 200 years in the future to Mars 3.8 billion years ago, takes a pit stop on the Great Plains at the turning point of human evolution 100,000 years ago before bringing us back to the present. Despite these broad strokes the story arc of the main character Dr Lee Archer is perfectly plotted so you get to know and care about her in a pretty short time.

boat scene 1

The Wake Scott Snyder issue 1_e


Believe me when I say this comic is best read with little or no knowledge of the story.

which makes it a little tough to review.

I really don’t want to spoil it for you.

So let me just give you a few basics that will let you know if this is for you or not.

Do you love the sound of an amazing sea-based sci-fi story that cleverly ties in real things like the inscription on a Sumerian tablet telling of the flood of Babylon with the Loneliest Whale in the World and the Aquatic Ape Theory?

Then this is for you.

I will also say that after reading this through for the first time I immediately re-read it. This almost never happens but it really is that well written and full of detail that it’s easy to miss first time round.

One last thing to say about The Wake is that the whole thing would fall flat without Sean Murphy’s amazing artistic treatment of water throughout. In an interview with ComicVine last year he said:

“It sounds kind of funny but water is like another character in this book. I looked at a lot of other comics and noticed a lot of people don’t draw water. They’ll just draw lines and the colourist just makes it blue. I really tried to figure out a new way to handle water, to draw an actual wave crashing, a tidal wave surging through a city, there’s all different ways that water works. I’m trying to learn about that.”

I’d say it’s working pretty amazingly well so far.

the wake water

How to read comics for free

I’ve made a New Year’s resolution.

To use my local public library more.

It’s almost like a revelation.

I wonder how many of you, like me, just forgot that you can go in there and read books, including comics for free.

It’s like magic.

And don’t be disheartened if you do go over to the comics section and all you see are a few dog-eared Sandmans and some obscure ‘never heard of that’s’.

Libraries have gone digital.

It’s like magic.

So here’s how it works for those of you in Edinburgh.

Hopefully where you are it’s similar or even better.

First off your library probably has an app.

“There’s an app for that!”


Here’s a screen grab from the Edinburgh Council app you can get it from iTunes and Android Playstore.

There are three totally cool things about this app.

1. If you are in say, Waterstones, and you are flipping the pages of a cool graphics novel, you can use this app to scan the bar-code and see if the library has a copy and reserve it.

2. You can scan you library card bar-code into this app. Then use your phone as your card.

3. You can renew your loan from the app. No more late fines!

What you can find online

Plus, they have some pretty cool comics on their catalogue.

I did a random search for a few things I have on my shelves.


  • Preacher: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
  • Fables: Wolves by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Shawn McManus and Andrew Pepoy
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley
  • The Walking Dead: vl 8 by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

You can borrow every one of these comics from the library.

For free.

Heck, the Fables comic alone was £13.99 from Forbidden Planet.

And we have every single one in the series.


I mean sure if you really love a comic it’s great to own them to re-read and treasure.

But when you’re just starting out with comics or a new series it makes sense to borrow the first couple at least.

Plus we should be supporting our public libraries.

Or one day they might not be there any more.

Welcome to ComicOpa!

First off, I love comics.

I really love comics.

Ever since I graduated from Pepper Street to the Beano, comics have been a part of my life.

Okay, well, there might have been a gap between about 1990 and 1995 that was comics free.

Then I discovered Neil Gaiman and the Sandman series and it was love at first sight.

Since then I’ve read most of the classics from big names like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and the like but I’ve also discovered some great lesser known titles.

I thought you might like some of them too.

And I was hoping you might share some new ones with me.

I’m also going to include, new releases, reviews, interviews, comic cons, film & TV adaptations.

Sound okay?


I hope you enjoy the blog.


PS. “Opa!” is a Greek word that kind of defies definition. It expresses joy, an insatiable happiness and exuberance. That’s kind of how I feel when I find a great new comic. So ComicOpa!