Tunnels in the 2021 Best Of Graphic Novels in The Irish Times

The best graphic novels of 2021: take a murderously funny trip through lockdown

The Irish Times    |    Seamus O'Reilly    |    December 18, 2021

[Rutu] Modan’s Tunnels is part-adventure, part-commentary, part-Edwardian farce. In fact, the list of hyphens you could throw its way might lead you to think it’s a bit of a mess. Suffice to say, it’s anything but. Nili is an amateur archaeologist racing to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant using a series of underground tunnels which may lead her to her prize, or might take her deep into dangerous territory. Modan’s beautifully clean lines draw obvious comparisons with Hergé, but it’s a style that suits both the thrills of its main storyline and the deeper undercurrents of social and familial turmoil which lie below the surface like so many hidden tunnels. This is both a thrilling, fun adventure and a clever, understated character piece, which skewers the foibles of greedy academics and the folly of right-wing settlers, without ever seeming like it’s hitting you over the head with one of its beautifully drawn shovels.

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