A fantastical, wordless voyage through subterranean mazes.
A rat darts across the opening pages, into a hole, and down a long tunnel, stopping under a hammock. A mole man stretches and wakes up, leading the rat and the reader deeper into the tunnel. What follows is a series of dreamlike sequences, each stranger than the last. Brian Ralph, author of The New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller Daybreak, was a founding member of the influential Providence, Rhode Island Fort Thunder art collective, which was renowned for the way its members’ work intermingled lowbrow and highbrow art forms – drawing inspiration from comics, video and role-playing games, and contemporary art. Fort Thunder created the alternative adventure comic and the comic book as artist's book. Cave-In was seen as the first example of this new approach. In this wordless classic, special emphasis is placed on the power of gesture. Minimalism allows Ralph to be playful with form – Cave-In’s use of color and crosshatching speak much more clearly to narrative shifts than they could in a more conventional text, and the use of different panel shapes and sizes transform the rhythm and pacing of the story. Cave-In is an all-ages adventure story, jam-packed with monsters, bats, and all manner of unimaginable underground mystery.