Independent creations – whether they be books, comics, video games or films – can often be the most unpredictable and surprising works of art there are. Why is this?

Usually, it’s because the independent creator has had the seed of an idea for years – and perhaps it’s not commercial enough to be picked up by mainstream companies or the creator simply wants to be able to fully express themselves without any outside interference or editing, which often leads to unique stories that would otherwise have remained untold.

Nahamaha, which has the feel of a picture book, in many ways, albeit one that’s most definitely not for younger readers, certainly has an amazingly unique ambience.

The unusual, unearthly tale it tells feels like a journey of discovery; not just for the eponymous character herself, but for the reader too.

We’re taken on an epic trip through a surreal, somewhat dangerous landscape – as unsure of the destination as Nahamaha is too.

It’s heavy on symbolism and doesn’t spell out every last detail for the reader; to that end, it certainly rewards multiple readings and does feel, in many ways, as if much of what happens is open to the reader’s interpretation.

The art is stark but often beautiful, with great use made of minimalist layouts and lots of white space around the quite intricately drawn characters and symbolically shaped scenery.

Death, rebirth and faith seem to be major themes and – though I can’t pretend I fully understood the tale from beginning to end – I did appreciate the level of artistry that went into its creation.

It’s a fascinating tale for sure; creator Hasker Brouwer is clearly a very talented writer and illustrator. Though the story verges on the impenetrable at times, I was absolutely drawn in to the unusual setting and the way in which it was told.

Nahamaha is available now and can be purchased from Pareidolie Publishing here.

Many thanks to Hasker Brouwer for providing me with a copy of Nahamaha for review purposes.

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