In Nate Neal's first full-length graphic novel, the author explores the primal mysteries and sordid inner workings of a Paleolithic cave-dwelling tribe, creating an original "silent" reading experience by using symbols instead of words.
When a mysterious nomad girl is offered up as an item of trade, she seeks refuge by forming a tenacious friendship with the local cave-painter turned outcast. Together they set out on a dangerous mission to bring truth to their corrupt tribe with the help of their new discovery (via some psychotropic mushrooms): drawings that tell a story. Subsequently, they become enmeshed in the violent power struggles and sensual intrigues between the alpha males and alpha females.
In The Sanctuary, art, inspiration, and communication is in conflict with tradition and law, and then ovel dramatizes the moral imperative of man facing the truth even at the cost of his, and society's, lives.
Featuring its own delicately crafted Paleolithic language, The Sanctuary breaks new ground by bringing complex ideas to the page with primal immediacy and sophistication through Neal's adroit use of pantomime storytelling that provide many layers of symbolism and meaning. This is a darkly comic journey through a prehistoric re-imagining of art and comics.
Written by Nate Neal, Directed by Andrew Perrine. Starring Nate Neal and Gary Perrine.
Promotional Video #2:
Nate Neal and Chenukee offer a tutorial on the language in The Sanctuary.
"The book’s success lies less in Neal’s treatment of the
protagonists’ conflicts, as engrossing as they may be, than in the masterful way he tackles the formal
demands of conveying the narrative and characterization without the use of text. Through darkness and
illumination he skillfully places his characters in bold relief against the drab subterranean background... [R]eaders who are up for the challenge will be amply rewarded by this exceptionally
– Gordon Flagg, Booklist