May 20, 2015

Wed Review (Dash Shaw - New School)

This is a really odd comicbook. I'm not really sure what to make of it. The plot is straight-forward enough to begin with. The protagonist is a young, religious boy - and I think his characterization is accurate enough, he's quite strange. The boy's older brother goes to a strange country to teach English to the natives that will begin working at a theme-park tourist destination. The book was interesting to me specifically because I was looking into teaching English in China this summer (a friend of mine is going, but I backed out at the last second because I'm fearful).

The art seems really awful at first, and then the coloring is just broad single-colored paint strokes over the entire panel, or page. I'm not sure if there's some significance to the colors, or why some panels are colored and others are not. It seems random.

It somehow kept me interested enough to come back to it, and over a week's time, about 20 minutes per day, I read the thing. So it wasn't interesting enough for my usual one-sitting reading style, but interesting enough that I actually came back to it (usually if a book doesn't hook me enough to read it in a long sitting I'll just forget about it). I think it had to do with the strange-ness of the whole thing, but the ability of the author to keep it grounded enough that I was legitimately interested for the plot - I wanted to see if something strange would actually happen.

This book is a story about brotherhood and self-identity hidden within a strange form of communication. I'm reminded of the story-telling abilities of my friend who had Asperger's.

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