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Patrick Horvath Names His Favorite Comic Book Ending and How He Finished 'Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees'

We chat with the cartoonist about his runaway success comic and how he brought it to a close.

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees Ending

Welcome to our Creator Corner, our reoccurring interview series, where we chat with the coolest and most thought-provoking creators in the industry. In this entry, we're conversing with Patrick Horvath about the Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees ending.


It's over. The final issue of Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees is in shops now if it's not already in your hands this very second. When we spoke with cartoonist Patrick Horvath at this year's WonderCon, he expressed some nerves about readers interacting with the comic's final two issues. To say the least, the book does not necessarily deliver on the expectations suggested by the first issue.

In a few weeks, on the podcast, we'll have a massive deep-dive conversation with Patrick Horvath about Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees. The chat is already in the can, and we're eager for you to hear it. But as a tease, on the day of the final comic's release, we wanted to focus on the sixth issue and the challenges Horvath faced when concluding Sam the Bear's story—if it's actually concluded, that is.

What did Horvath want to avoid with his climax? What are the comic book endings and movie endings he adores and admires? What's the future for the sleepy town of Woodbrook? Below, you'll find the answers, and yes, there are a few spoilers. Tread cautiously if you have not read the last chapter, but really, what's your excuse? CLICK HERE to read it immediately using the Omnibus digital shop.


A Good Ending for Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees Ending Paper
Image Credit © 2024 IDW Publishing

Lisa: What were the traps, regarding the ending, you were trying to avoid for Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees?

Patrick Horvath: I didn’t want it to devolve into any sort of thriller genre tropes. I was afraid that I’d sacrifice page count in playing out something that was maybe more expected for a final confrontation. 

Brad: Do you have a favorite ending or endings?

Patrick Horvath: There are so many endings that I think are great. A comic/manga with an ending that has always stuck with me is “The Gateless Barrier” from [Kazuo] Koike and [Goseki] Kojima’s Lone Wolf and Cub. It’s one of my favorite sections of that whole series, and I think it’s because it nails all of the philosophical and aesthetic keystones of the book. It starts off (as many of the sections do) with a cryptic preamble and then opens like a violent, bloody flower, illuminating the titular moment in its climax. It’s one of those endings that I’ll carry with me for a long, long time. It’s just rock solid and one of the many reasons why that series is so great.

For movies, there are so many that are my favorite for all sorts of reasons. I saw A Dark Song a few years ago, and that ending blew my socks off. It also reminded me a lot of the ending for Breaking the Waves. Both take this amazing turn that instead of being a twist, is actually just leaning waaaaaay into backing up faith with the Miraculous Encounter. I loved that they allowed space for letting the impossible be possible (either real or imagined) and it’s such a fun ending for me.

On the other hand, I’m also a huge fan of anything that can end with a feeling that everything is up in the air, and we’re left to sort out what happens next. Total Recall is a very fun version of that, and I’m also a big fan of Limbo and Meek's Cutoff for that same reason. Some viewers can be so frustrated by endings like that, but I absolutely love when the audience is presented with the world, characters, and circumstance, and they have to bring their own conclusion to it.

Nigel's Ending in Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees Ending Lone Wolf
Image Credit © 2024 Dark Horse Comics

Brad: How often do other stories enter your imagination when you're crafting your own? Do you try to block the genre out of your head, or do you embrace what comes before?

Patrick Horvath: I’ll often find certain moments popping up in my head that are from films or novels, and I’ll usually try to side-step them. In some cases, if it makes sense, I’ll actually lean into them if I can turn the expectation on its head. I love throwing in a curveball whenever possible, and it’s usually a lot more fun for the reader.

Lisa: Was there another possible ending for Sam? Can you clue us into that, if possible?

Patrick Horvath: There so much in Woodbrook that Sam defines herself by, I don’t know if she would have had another course of action if it didn’t involve reclaiming her place in it. She definitely needed to have her moment of self-discovery, so to speak, and once that was in place, I think she would have had to go all-in on neutralizing Nigel. There was a brief moment when I was wondering if there was a way for her to play into Nigel’s hopes of them working together, just to lull him into a false sense of security, but it just didn’t seem like her style at all. It was such an affront to her whole being that she had to do what she did instead.

Lisa: Sam has been operating in the city for some time. She's an expert at killing and satisfying her needs without interference. We never really should have been worried about the new kid coming in and shaking things up, but we sure were! What do you ultimately see as Nigel's downfall?

Patrick Horvath: He was young and basically drunk with wielding death on such an innocent community that wasn’t prepared for it in any way at all. From his perspective he was untouchable from the first murder, and by the time we’re following him around at the beginning of issue 6, it’s like watching a kid walking around a candy store. He’s very much blindsided by his own confidence.

Is There an Ending for Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees?

Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees Ending 6
Image Credit © 2024 IDW Publishing

Lisa: Your story ends with Sam seemingly back on top, but we still sense there's a lot more story to tell, and she may not be as comfortable in her station as she thinks after her confrontation with Nigel. How eager are you to tell more of her story?

Patrick Horvath: Ever since I made the first issue, I realized there is a whole bunch more that I could do with these characters and this world. I really hope I get the chance to do more.

Brad: When will we see that sequel? We need to start crossing off the days on our calendar.

Patrick Horvath: Good question! Nothing has been set up, but it’s been such a great ride, and working with IDW has been a treat. I sincerely hope I get to jump on something soon.


Beneath the Trees Where Nobody Sees # 6 is now available from IDW Publishing, wherever fine comics are sold.


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