Dark Horse's The Shadows Uses Gorgeously Grim Imagery to Tell a Refugee's Story

A glimpse of The Shadows.
A glimpse of The Shadows.
Image: Dark Horse

Previously available only in French, graphic novel The Shadows—from creators Zabus and Hippolyte—is getting an English release courtesy of Dark Horse and translator Matt Madden. It’s a fictional but timely tale of refugees searching for asylum, rendered in gorgeously grim, spooky drawings. We’ve got a sneak peek to share today.

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Here’s a quick description, followed by two excerpts from The Shadows. “To apply for asylum, Refugee 214 must tell his story. With him in the room are a man from his new country, and the shadows of four loved ones who did not survive the journey. 214 reveals how he and his younger sister fled their homes and set off toward the border; how they met and suffered with friends, and lost them; and how the plight of the refugee is an experience that erases differences between individuals, even as it threatens to erase the individuals themselves. The only one left to tell the tale, 214 swallows his fears and relates what he and the shadows saw and did, in the hope that his life and the lives of the others won’t have been in vain. Creators Zabus & Hippolyte present an intimate and heartrending look at one fictional refugee’s story, while encompassing the larger plight of displaced people.”

Illustration for article titled Dark Horse's The Shadows Uses Gorgeously Grim Imagery to Tell a Refugee's Story
Image: Dark Horse
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Image: Dark Horse
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Image: Dark Horse

Here’s the second segment:

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Image: Dark Horse
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Image: Dark Horse
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Image: Dark Horse
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The Shadows will release on July 28, and you can pre-order a copy here.


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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.

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