“A voice from beyond the veil calls out to a debt-ridden fisherman” -Comic Summary
Far removed from the relatively comfortable lives we live, Altar of Pine follows the tale of a man named Alexander in an age long ago. Indebted to others with no means of paying them back, Alexander finds himself with less than 2 weeks to come up with the cash or face the consequences of the stocks.
A fisherman with few prospects, Alexander takes his small boat out for work one day only to find himself captured in a storm and blown out into deadly waters. He wakes up injured but alive on a mysterious island just shy of the mainland. An island that no one had seen previously but certainly should have noticed. What is happening?
Creator Catherineese is one of skill and eternal patience. He is a 24 year old who hails from the United States and is a practitioner of witchcraft for the past 6-7 years. Parts of the story therefore come from his own experiences with the craft, leading to an original and unique comic experience. If you join is Patreon, certain tiers will also be able to have tarot readings done. Catherineese has legitimately gone above and beyond the call of duty in every way.
The art is stark and cold, yet eternally expressive. Ever moving. The characters? Knobby and eccentric in their design. Expressions took me by surprise with how open they were: curling and withdrawn when required, yet open and outlandish at other points. I couldn’t find the exact taste that the art left on my tongue. It’s different and I love it for all that it inspires. Hard lines, sharp details and a wash of muddy color that seems almost too ominous. But isn’t that the point? Altar of Pine touches on subjects that most webcomics wouldn’t dream of: don’t seem to dare to. It walks into territory that appears forbidden.
Which brings us to the writing. The pacing is gentle and speaks of things to come in visual ways: showing Catherineese has planned Altar of Pine to the very last step. Every word hold value. Every scene. Every panel. When you read this comic, do so slowly and appreciate the work that has been placed into the pacing. Appreciate the effort put into making Altar of Pine a visual and literary masterpiece created to hold your attention and entertain you with the chill of the unknown and more than a touch of witchcraft. And oh, will there be witchcraft.
Mature in every way, Altar of Pine is not for the faint of heart. The 18+ warning on the comic should be taken very seriously as the story progresses. I will say, however, that for an adult audience, Altar of Pine is worth every moment you sink into it. Take it, savor it like a sweet wine that gets better with age. And wait for that axe to fall in the upcoming pages.
In conclusion, a couple sites from the creator for your consideration: