Sheltered by Ed Brisson & John Christmas
Ed Brisson’s Sheltered is a short three-volume series (fifteen issues) that tells the story of one group of “preppers,” those who go off the grid, stockpile food and water, and take other precautions to weather a variety of possible apocalyptic endings. Safe Haven is a small, close community, and many of the children have grown up there. They are all good friends, so the main character, Victoria, is a real outsider since she has only recently come to live there with her father.
What makes Sheltered such a riveting series is the twist that comes in the first issue: All the adults die, and the children are left to fend for themselves. Once on their own, they get rid of all remaining means of communication and rely solely on the predictions made by the group leader, the charismatic Lucas, who has warned them that there are cataclysmic disasters only weeks, maybe days away. The other children follow his lead when he tells them they should not communicate with outsiders or leave Safe Haven. Their sole job is to prepare to go into their bunkers to survive. Oh, and fend off anybody who might try to invade their territory. And they have a lot of weapons available for doing so.
Go ahead and order all three volumes if you decide to read Sheltered, because you will want to read these books back-to-back (or check them out on Comixology to save money). Though Sheltered is mainly a plot-driven series and is not overly philosophical, it is not short on ideas either. It asks us to think about leadership, charisma, world-wide and local communication, as well as the obvious: What do we make of those who decide to follow this path in life, particularly in terms of how it shapes the children who grow up in such communities? The art is solid, and events move fast. Plus, if you’re tired of post-apocalyptic fiction, you might enjoy a pre-apocalyptic story for a change of pace.