What first caught my eye was the accessibility and style of the art work. There was something familiar and hand drawn to it.
With all cartoons and comics it is always the artwork that first catches my eye.
So style wise I was drawn in.
The bold red, blue used to pick out the characters, the thick lines around the characters bounced up at me. Each male character is represented by a different animal, the protagonist and writer is portray as a blue bull, his father a blue rhino. The women are human and their hair picked out in red.
I believe I spotted this book online first part of the Myriad Editions: First Graphic Novel Competition
I tracked it down at the book store but it's size warrants the bigger prices for Graphic novels being around £20 so I waited till I had the money.
In the meantime, every time I visited the comic store I would flick through it, think about it, next time I would say.
The way I pick a comic book:
- 'Heard of' or Cover artwork and feel of the paper and weight of the book
- Flick the pages and get a feel for the content, does the art quality continue through the book?
- Then I randomly pick a page, does it pull me in?
- If it does I go to the beginning and try that page and if I want to read more...
- I check the price if it's in my budget/pocket, I buy it.
- p.s. a recommendation skips a few of these
This ticked all boxes except the price until finally the fates aligned, my pockets were full and one rainy day being windswept into Waterstones, I bought it.
I must guiltily confess I am addicted to buying comics, big, small, serious and funny: I want = I buy.
So I had a few that required attention...BUT this one jumped the queue.
One thing that is relevant is my connection to the story, I have a fading father too. My father has vascular dementia, so I was interested to read a story close to mine.
It took me a few sittings as I tend to rapidly read through comics then reread but this one I studied the story, gently following the pace, taking me on the rollarcoaster of reflection and dread, the desire to help and the desire to not be there. The family connections, the memories, your life colliding with theirs.
The journey, the amble through the last days of his father, are incredibly moving and emotional.
One picture will stay burnt in my mind, at the end, the final farewell.
It isn't a fast paced read, it is a trailer park, it is waiting, it is relationships preserved in amber.
As his father passes, the book speeds up as if time had stopped and release had become.
I was struck by this book and will keep it tenderly on shelf to read again.
Here's The author Aneurin Wright's Website if you would like to read more of his work.