TreesTen years ago, aliens landed on Earth, with no warning and no attempt at any communication. Humans called them “Trees” because they appeared as enormous columns, hundreds of feet in diameter and thousands of feet tall. Since then, humans have adjusted, but still, no one knows anything about these “Trees.” Except for the occasional release of toxic waste (from what, exactly, no one knows), there has been no alien communication or activity—just the giant tree-like structures that continue to dominate the landscape. And yet, maybe the “Trees” are not as placid as everyone thinks.

Four separate stories about life beneath the “Trees” unfolds:

In China, in the artists’ colony of Shu that thrives directly under a “Tree,” Cheglei has come to study, draw, and maybe find his place in the world.

In Spitzbergen, in northern Iceland, a science station is studying the local “Tree.” One of the scientists, Marsh, has noticed some new black flowers growing nearby.

In the Greecian town of Cefalu, Eligia, the girlfriend of the local mafia don wanna-be, is dissatisfied with her role—she is so much smarter than her boyfriend. Then she meets professor Bongiorno.

And in Mogadishu, Somalia, the location of the shortest “Tree,” President Rahim is taking advantage of that fact to threaten his neighbors.

The art in Trees is beautiful, with wonderfully colored line drawings and dramatic, full-panel vistas of the cities around the “Trees.” Howard uses extensive cross-hatching for shading, before adding washes of color to brighten the drawings.

Weaving four stories together in a rich and fascinating vision of first contact, Trees is really a study in human personalities, how a nagging worry can shape us even when we don’t realize we are worried, and will leave readers craving more.

Trees
Warren Ellis, Jason Howard
Art by Jason Howard
ISBN: 9781632152701
Image Comics, 2015

  • Emma Weiler

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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