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Stand Still, Stay Silent

May 19, 2014
That's the face of a dark, grim future right there.

That’s the face of a dark, grim future right there.

Some time in our near future, a super flu kills off most of the people in the world. A handful of Scandinavians survive by dint of living on remote islands and being really tough people to begin with. Meanwhile, the magic of Nordic mythology, including mages, seers, and trolls, begins to wake back up.

Sounds pretty dark, right? Oddly enough, Stand Still, Stay Silent, a new webcomic by Minna Sundberg, isn’t. The main story’s set ninety years after the plague, and although humanity’s settlements are small and scattered, people live pretty well. The government of Iceland is finally willing to fund a research expedition to the forbidden zone, the Silent Lands. The budget they cough up is woefully short (you know academia so well, Minna!), so the expedition’s organizers can only afford to hire complete dorks. Enter our cast.

This webcomic’s beautiful. It’s like going on an armchair vacation to see the stark landscapes up at the top of the world, and since the artist’s a Swede who grew up in Finland, you know she knows what she’s talking about. On top of that, the comic’s got an impressive update schedule of four full-size, color pages a week.

If you want to check out this webcomic, here’s a couple pieces of advice before going in. First, feel free to start on page 56. The pages before that deal with the end of the old world, and if you’re passingly familiar with The Stand or World War Z, you already know everything you need to know. The really interesting part is the new world that takes its place. Second, Minna Sundberg loves to draw characters with fine, delicate chins and medium-ish hair. On top of that, they’re all wearing furs. If you want to keep track of characters’ genders, you may want to take notes.

The main story’s just setting up, and Sundberg has given us some tantalizing hints about this world. Why are they called the Silent Lands? Something about the monsters responding to human speech.

Check it out here.

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