May 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
“Barry’s Best Buddy” by Renee French (Toon Books)
Sometimes friendship can be an antagonistic relationship, despite the best of intentions by at least one of the parties. Renee French introduces young readers to the outgoing and spontaneous Polarhog and his best friend, Barry the Bird.
Polarhog, bemoaning the dull gray house that Barry hides in, takes his friend on a little jaunt of the unexpected. Barry, a squat and uncomfortable looking bird, generally pushes back on any delight Polarhog embraces — not quite Oscar and Felix, but certainly reminiscent of other class odd couples like Frog and Toad or Ernie and Bert.
French is a renowned alternative cartoonist, and her work is often in the realms of absurdist and experimental. With “Barry’s Best Buddy,” she makes perfect use of these qualities within a stripped-down format, offering a entry point for children into a wider world of fiction with these sensibilities that await their attention as they grow up to appreciate the unusual and clever.
“Mr. Flux” by Kyo Maclear and Matte Stephen (Kids Can Press)
Inspired the 1960s art movement that stressed anti-commercialism and even anti-art sentiments as a way of testing and celebrating the done-it-yourself and other everyday material, Maclear’s takes the concept of security as safety and contrasts it to flux, that is change, as a formula for everyday adventure.his rather dull town, Maclears’s story has the goofy Mr. Flux arrive in town. He just oozes change out of his pores, and by just existing in city limits with his pajamas and bowler hat, the effects can be felt.
Obviously, this is a lesson in being flexible and embracing the new, and Mr. Flux’s influence on leads to baby steps that work like a virus through town. A good virus. The very best virus.
Soon enough, house are no longer just gray and breakfast is not just confined to one reliable dish, and Mr. Flux seems to have done his job. But, of course, there’s more — change is one thing, but amusement is an important add-on, and Maclear’s finale shows that though change can become routine, something to cause a little laughter is always a valuable turnabout.
Mclear’s cautionary tale is wonderfully realized through Matte Stephen’s retro art style, reminiscent of Miroslav Sasek, renowned for his “This Is” series of children’s travel books and showing that your own hometown can be just as exotic as London or Paris if you want it to be.
“Rosie’s Magic Horse” by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake (Candlewick Books)
Illustrator Quentin Blake is a much acknowledged legend in children’s books, and rightfully so, but his creative partner in many endeavors, author Russell Hoban, elicits fewer looks of recognition when you mention his name. Hoban’s biggest claim to fame were the charming Francis books, but his further work — for both children and adults — hit new heights of quirkiness, always representing a very singular mind that expressed itself through a masterful and idiosyncratic writer.
In this release of Hoban’s final picture, his flair for the outrageous is well-matched by a gentle heart and warm sense of humor. The story follows a group of popsicle sticks following their use to careless discard to being added to the collection box of Rosie. Collectively, the popsicle sticks want more to their existence post-popsicle, and require some purpose again.
Meanwhile, Rosie realizes her family’s financial stress, and has her own wishes that she needs to come true.
What happens is that both their desires collide, leading to a silly adventure that solves everyone’s problems. Hoban takes his simple premise further and further, before letting it come back down to earth with a heartwarming denouement. Blake, meanwhile, rises to the occasion as he always does, injecting the whimsy with a dynamic scrappy energy.
As his last work, “Rosie’s Magic Horse” is a marvelous tribute to Hoban and the originality that flowed from his pen, and will hopefully lead to a much-deserved revival of his masterful work.
August 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
New Yorker cover artist Frank Viva offers a tale of a little mouse’s impatience on a trip to Antarctica that is based on Viva’s own experience.
He visited the Antarctic Peninsula onboard a Russian research vessel and got continually sick.
The ill tummy doesn’t make it to the book, but everything else Viva saw does — all manners of wildlife and their behavior, and even the warm water of a submerged volcano. At each step of the way, Mouse enjoys his journey, but also wishes to get back home.
Viva’s art has a retro feeling, with a cut-out quality that lends a whimsical, poetic air to the words. Experience is only partly narrative, in Viva’s realization — as the flow of dialogue and illustration come together, it’s revealed as something of the moment that builds into a larger collection, where even wanting to get back becomes part of the whole.
Viva’s lovely little book says that it’s okay to experience the world with some trepidation and desire for the familiar, as long as you’re experiencing it.
August 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Toon Books forges ahead in comics and innovation for young readers with a fantasy graphic novel by Canadian writer/artist David Nytra that adds girth to the page count and depth to the concept in contrast to the company’s usual output.
Alan and Leah awaken in a mysterious forest where, beckoned by a talking frog statue, they begin a meandering journey back home that takes them through a Wonderland-like landscape that slowly unfolds to just the right level of surrealist nightmare for a little kid.
It’s a world populated by giant bees and bunnies and other strange animals, including some in powdered wigs, and as well as a population of Victorian-styled ocean monsters that add further strangeness.
Nytra’s adventure unfolds in a world that evokes Edward Gorey, with its looming shadows and intricate cross hatching, and hearkens to another time where the lands beyond your own experience were mysterious, imposing and invigorating. Revealing itself as a coming of age tale with a eye distinctly on the idea that childhood is a shared experience, as is the loss of it, Nytra’s book is perfect for intense little kids with a dark streak and the grown-ups who read to them.
Review: Nina in That Makes Me Mad by Hilary Knight and Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking by Phillipe Coudray
November 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Now an imprint of Candlewick Press, Toon Books forges ahead with the same simple quality that it’s always had displayed in these two new titles.
French cartoonist Coudray offers a series of comic strip vignettes that are surprisingly cerebral in their tone. Benjamin is a bear, and his encounters with other animals in the wild bring forth some surreal and even some hilariously brutal conclusions. Coudray is also a master of illustrating the sequential form to kids with his perfect pacing and the time unaccounted for between the panels. It’s a great book for kids who can settle in and approach a book as an exploration.
For Nina, children’s book legend Knight — illustrator of the Eloise books — adapts a text by Steven Kroll into a hybrid effort examining childhood anger. Each sequence illustrates the particular incident the anger brings on but is heralded in by a full-page that evokes more traditional picture books. Together, the pages add up to an empowering portrayal of the dark side of kids that validates it even as it suggests that understanding adults might be able to offer truly productive suggestions to quell the ill feelings.
June 22, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Age of Dinosaurs #3 (Dark Horse)
One of the most beautiful comics in print, this penultimate issue of Ricardo Delgado’s new paleontological epic continues to follow the mass migration of various dinosaur species. Fraught with the violence of nature and the fury of the journey, Delgado’s story unfolds in a total silence that keeps the narrative unfolding on the dinosaurs’ terms and not the readers’. Delgado was an animator on “Wall-E,” but the visuals here are more intimate, and any anthropomorphism comes off as a delicate touch.
Crogan’s March by Chris Schweizer (Oni Press)
In the previous volume creator Schweizer investigated political order versus chaos as a human struggle in a pirate setting. In this new book he tops his previous effort with a tense French Foreign Legion adventure that asks questions about war, borders, bravery, class, prejudice and the tentacles of history. Even with the heavy themes, it’s a lot of fun. With a whimsical but detailed European style of cartooning and an accessible scholarship, this series deserves a lot of attention outside the comics world.
First Wave #1 (DC Comics)
Superheroes with nothing but their fists and guile to help them defeat crime — oh, and a stylish 1940s period adventure to propel them — root around a mystery that will no doubt gather them together in the end. Doc Savage and The Spirit dominate this issue, but Rima, the Jungle Girl, does make an appearance, as do the Blackhawks and Batman — it’s all shaping up to be a fun romp. The beauty of this book is that it does recognize the absurdity of superheroes when placed in a real world setting, but doesn’t allow that inescapable fact to hijack it into silliness — and still the humor is there on the page.
Foiled by Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallero (First Second Books)
Teen fantasy fiction legend Yolen picks up where Minx Books left off with this comedy romance that unfolds precisely before bursting into all out wonderment. Aliera is an up and coming fencer, as well as a high school student with no self-esteem for her social skills. Her game is thrown out of whack by a crush on her lab partner in science class, but as the story progresses, little chips in the walls of her safe world begin to appear — and like many other a teen trapped in a coming of age tale, she finds her place in the universe is far less mundane than she thought. A great one for teen girls with promise for future stories. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 15, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This year has already started strong in the world of graphic novels for kids. The books below, aimed at readers from ages 9 to 13, stand as some of the best. They’re perfect for picky readers — or just students who might be struggling and seeking something a little different to grab their interest — but any reader, including open-minded grown-ups, would love any of these.
Bloomsbury has released a sequel to last year’s feisty, wild west retelling of “Rapunzel” from Shannon and Dean Hale, with illustrator Nathan Hale, that centers on our heroine’s mischievous sidekick, Jack of bean stalk fame. In “Calamity Jack,” the duo return to his hometown to save his fellow citizens from the schemes of the very same giant so adept at sniffing English blood. This time around, he’s got the place under his thumb, thanks to some kind of fairy tale-themed protection racket. With the introduction of romantic rival Freddie Sparksmith, the story takes on a welcome steampunk edge.
Jake Parker’s “Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher” (Scholastic Graphix) mixes a lightness that never interferes with the seriousness that Parker includes in the work — he wants to tell a good space adventure even as he reveals that all that stands between the universe and a horde of alien villains attempting to uncover the ancient secret of manufacturing black holes to use as weapons is a humanoid mouse working for the Galactic Security Agency. Leaping from the pages of “Flight,” this full-length outer space adventure plays it fun but straight and even manages to incorporate more actual science in the details than last year’s “Star Trek” movie — and it’s a lot better!
Eleanor Davis returns with “The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook” (Bloomsbury) her first kids’ book since her award-winning “Stinky,” released last year from Toon Books. Davis’ new work is a slight science fiction comedy with a pretty elevated outlook. Typical geek Julian Calendar breaks from the bonds of stereotyping and teams up with Ben, a jock who moonlights as a master mechanic, and funky scientist DIYer Greta to battle a villainous old-timer — and washed-up purveyor of outdated innovation — Dr. Wilhelm Stringer. Hardy laughs mix with some genuine science — as well as whimsical flights of fancy — and a fabulous new book series is born! It’s a great antidote to the overabundance of supernatural potboilers for younger readers and a definite outreach to a generation being raised on Make Magazine.
Raina Telgemeier’s “Smile” (Scholastic Graphix) started its life as a serialized story online and comes full circle in the format it was born to — a complete YA graphic novel that can compete with the best of any prose work.
This autobiographical work follows Telgemeier’s traumatic dental experience as a middle schooler — not just braces, but a score of restorative dental work, as well as periodontistry, which weaves through the ground-zero years of puberty. Telgemeier’s purpose is to offer some self-deprecating humor in the name, revealing that even the worst thing that could happen is not always the end of the world, though it might seem that way when you’re 13. It’s also an amusing tale of empowerment, revealing that part of growing up is growing past the cruelty of other kids.
One of the best Web comics ever has been collected in book form — Kazu Kibuisihi’s “Copper” (Scholastic Graphix), a work that reached creative and intellectual clarity that few comics for adults ever seem to. Boasting the philosophical depth of children’s authors like Arnold Lobel and Peter Sis, and one of the most elegant and fluid cartooning styles you will ever encounter, Scholastic brings Kibuisihi’s Web comic to print form and we’re all the better for it.
Copper is a boy and Fred is a dog, and together they inhabit one-page adventures that mix the trials of giant mushrooms, apocalyptic cityscapes, DIY airplanes and jungle adventures with subtle investigations of self-esteem, the nature of contentment, the satisfaction of difficult challenges and enjoying the moment. Deep and satisfying and very, very funny!
December 29, 2009 § Leave a Comment
Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse – Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic)
Creator Kibuishi certainly borrows from modern archetypes — Star Wars and Lord of the Rings in particular, as well as the films of Miyazake — but he is not content to let his own creations wallow in a bath of influences. Instead, his science fiction/fantasy epic for young readers leaps off the pages thanks to the natural quality of his storytelling — and having the story center around a cool girl character like Emily certainly helps. Kibuishi has so far skipped the lame supernatural fetishism and overwrought romance that taints too many young adult efforts, preferring story, character, and imagination in an exciting dance.
Ball Peen Hammer – Adam Rapp and George O’Connor (First Second Books)
Ball Peen Hammer moves from the dark allure of post-apocalyptic science fiction into an unrelentingly grim realm populated by unexpectedly noble characters — all rendered with an animated beauty by O’Connor’s hand. The stereotypes are turned inside out, victims of their own personal failures, as humans face a monumental and deadly challenge — and at the center is the sad and too easy decision to exploit children and in the process not only kill hope but create heaps that stand as sad reminders of moral failure. As depressing as it sounds, that’s what makes it worth recommending.
Batman/Doc Savage Special (DC)
Brian Azzarello pens an alluring vignette like something out of the ’70s Brave and the Bold, with strong stylized artwork by Phil Noto. He captures Batman in his younger days and dealing with the authority figures of the time — hence pulp fiction legend Doc Savage slumming in Gotham City as a diversion. In all truth, nothing much happens here — the adventure is basically dropped by the heroes — but this story mostly serves as a prelude for the upcoming First Wave comic, which will feature great DC Implosion characters from Justice Inc. and Rima the Jungle Girl, among others. The tone here is just right — serious but not overwrought, dark but not posturing — and it bodes well for the upcoming series.
Best American Comics 2009 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Charles Burns sets the tone for this year’s edition with a compelling essay that recounts his artistic and professional development as a journey through comic book collecting, where each tangent is a revelatory moment in his embrace of groundbreaking creativity. That he’s mirrored this volume’s selections in the same way is no accident. Easily one of the best in recent years, among the highlights are: Dan Zettwoch’s fictional history of a Church cartoonist’s newsletter; Peter Bagge’s comical slice of pre-Revolutionary America, and Dan Clowes’ attack on film critics and movie fetishists.
Breathers 0-4 (Just Mad Books)
If you want to read the best science fiction comic around, don’t look in any of the obvious places — Breathers is a self-published work by Wisconsin resident Justin Madson that concerns a gritty world of tomorrow that isn’t so far removed from today. In Madson’s scenario, the air we breathe has been infected with a virus for the last 40 years and people use stylish respiratory masks called “breathers” to stay alive. Madson weaves the tales of several people together in a series of shorter entries that create a wider tapestry of this future. Some are concerned with their own problems wrought from the situation, while others grapple with larger one — is the virus even real? Check it out at Madson’s website.
Cancer Vixen – Marisa Acocella Marchetto (Pantheon)
Suffering through breast cancer will get my sympathy — and my appreciation for bravery and chutzpah in the face of it — but it does not automatically mean I will think the graphic memoir of your experience is readable. In full disclosure, I couldn’t actually finish this book, so grating is the voice and narrative, and so amateurish and plain awful is the artwork. I read several reviews to make sure I wasn’t missing something, with the full intent of going back and reading the rest, but everything I encountered only cemented my reaction to this book. In contrast to what a good memoir should be, the narrative is manipulative rather than honest. Marchetto takes great pains to control our impression of her by compiling pages and pages of how successful and admired she is before we even get to the cancer. I understand that she does not want her readers to define her as the woman with cancer and have that image be our lasting impression, but then why bother to write a cancer memoir? The reader should be given a chance to discover her best qualities as she fights cancer, not have them dished out in an attempt to circumvent any impression we might have of her as a non-fabulous person with cancer. I bailed out at the diagnosis after having been pummeled by almost a hundred pages of constant bragging Also, I’m really tired of artists who who look as if they are relearning their entire craft starting with kindergarten level work when they go digital — it made an irritating story unbearable. This is a low point to the usually high standard of Pantheon’s output.
Ganges #3 (Fantagraphics)
Kevin Huizenga’s Every Man Glen Ganges faces a sleepless night and what unfolds is a mix of incoherent night rambling and time-passing mishap. Huizenga delivers a quiet tour de force that shows confident cartooning that thrills through its ease and craftsmanship, rather than stylizing the hell out of anything. His Ganges stories function as the American equivalent to Michel Rabagliati’s Paul stories, documenting a normal life with a sharp eye and a penchant for gentle revelation.
The Good Neighbors 2 – Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Scholastic)
Spiderwyck co-creator Black continues her coming-of-age fairy-style saga as our heroine Rue starts to find her otherworldly family is beginning to take a toll on her friends, the resident Scooby Doo gang, and also that her mother isn’t as helpful as she’d hoped. Black’s first foray into the graphic novel format makes what is the now standard supernatural YA adventure more kinetic than most. and yet toned down in the histrionics and dramatics departments in such a way that grown-ups will have fun with it as well as teens. I confess that I’ll be glad when the supernatural wave in teen fiction dies down and a more open field of subject matter exists again — and also the standard plot of a kid hits a certain age and discovers he/she is secretly a wizard/vampire/fairy/spy/whatever becomes less overused — but Good Neighbors is at least agreeable in its use of these newly-minted chestnuts.
Insomnia Café – M.K. Perker (Dark Horse)
It isn’t a perfect work, but Turkish artist M.K. Perker’s stylized surrealist suspense tale — his American writing debut — has a lot to recommend it. Kolinsky is an expert on rare books whose shady past sends him on a downward plunge in the world, sleepless and at a job he hates. When he becomes involved with a coffee shop girl, he gets the opportunity to hide from his problems even as they snowball without his attendance. All is not as it necessarily seems, though, and Perker investigates the manifestations of that very concept from the eccentric to the unhinged. Perker is definitely one to watch.
Little Mouse Gets Ready – Jeff Smith (Toon Books)
If you’ve never considered that a children’s book about a mouse getting dressed would charm you into giddy happiness, you might want to pick this up. Combining the sweetness of old style Golden Books with a modern twist of a punchline, Smith has crafted a fun and funny little sequential picture book here — and Toon Books never disappoints, anyhow.
Skin Deep – Charles Burns (Fantagraphics)
Charles Burns offers a glimpse of what might happen if EC Comics existed today with three tales of intrigue and absurdity in this softcover reissue from the 2001 series collecting his early work. A master of the unearthly atmosphere — David Lynch has nothing on him — Burns unleashes tales of a man transplanted with a dog’s heart, a failing marriage with an alarming secret, and, best of all, an evangelist’s son’s encounter with God and his path to millions because of it. At once cautionary, creepy and curious, Burns is consistently one of comics’ deepest thinkers.
3 Story – Matt Kindt (Dark Horse)
In this somber and beautifully realized tale, Matt Kindt recounts the life of a real giant as seen through the eyes of the three women most important to him — his mother, his wife and his daughter. It’s Citizen Kane meets Gulliver’s Travels. As with Super Spy, Kindt’s styles are multiple and thoroughly accomplished, as is the depth of the biography that measures the perception of a man by the opposite sex. It is an area of mystery where expectations can outgrow and overtake the self that lurks within. In this book, Kindt comes up with a protagonist who is truly as big as the author’s ideas.
Trotsky: A Graphic Biography – Rick Geary (Hill and Wang)
Geary, one of the best practitioners of the non-fiction comics form, tackles the life of Communist thinker and leader by examining his ideas at a time when such radical naivete seemed like just the answer to oppression. Though it’s hard to say that Trotsky comes off as likable, Gear isn’t afraid to present the harsher side of the man in a fight for his own principles and some level of government fairness towards ordinary human beings, even when it involves executions of peasants who refused to fight in the revolution. A person like Trotsky is unlikely to exist again — we’re less tolerant of intellectuals and anyone with foibles — but Geary does a fantastic job at bringing the era to life.
Wasteland Vol 5 – Antony Johnson, Carla Speed McNeil, Joe Infurnari, Chuck BB, and Christopher Mitten (Oni Press)
The originally invigorating Wasteland series suffers another sidetracking setback — Vol. 4 with its foray into nomadic dog tribes was irritating enough. In that, the main characters and their stories were largely relegated to minor purposes, leaving them tied up for the duration of the story. In this volume, four flashback stories are presented, filling in details of the post apocalyptic word and leading up to the stories in the first volume. The problem is that no matter how well done these stories are — and they are extremely well realized, particularly with Mitten’s stunning color work on the final story — they are mostly superfluous. A nice time passer but I hope Johnson will get back to what made this series truly interesting. To that end, I highly recommend the first 3 volumes of the series if you haven’t read them already.
Wet Moon Vol. 5 by Ross Campbell (Oni Press)
Campbell’s ongoing series of graphic novels follows a loose group of industrial-goth art school students in a mysterious Southern swamp town. Based on his own experiences at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Campbell weaves a network of gossip, doubt, and confessions that creates a mystique of experience in those transition years between high school and adulthood. Campbell shows an uncanny respect and sympathy for every character who enters the story, which keeps it down to earth even as the strange feeling in the air begins to wrap mystery around the story in ways you can’t quite put your finger on, even as it careens into an wholly unexpected event.
Year of Loving Dangerously – Ted Rall (NBM)
Unapologetically frank memoir of the year Rall spent as — there is no delicate way to put this — a gigolo who traded his favors for a roof over his head and a bed. Not just one — multiple places of action and rest were his in 1980s New York City, and this maze of mattresses serves as a stellar travelogue to life at that place and time. If Rall comes off as a bit of a rogue, he’s a least one with an interesting tale to tell — a series of misfortunes that saw him kicked out of college and on the streets during one of the scariest times in NYC history to be a homeless person.
October 2, 2009 § 1 Comment
Given the subject matter of mainstream comics in their current form — and the high profile stampede of Hollywood to adapt any superhero comic they can get their slimy fingers on — it’s often forgotten that half a century ago the medium was not identified with any particular genre.
Like radio, comics walked in a populist, sometimes lowbrow arena that was as filled with cowboys, medical professionals and wise-cracking children as anything else.
At the middle of the 20th century, there was an entire corner of the comic book industry that had more in common with Golden Books than anything else. In an era when children’s literature too often demonstrated a slavish devotion to stodgy old classics, comics and Golden Books were there to offer little kids something more modern and engaging, something that might actually make them want to read rather than ensure they must. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2009 § Leave a Comment
It’s an exciting time for kids and comics — well, not the genre of comics, but definitely the medium. While superheroes continue to be co-opted by Hollywood and relegated to treatments that are somewhere between too adult and far too juvenile, comics continue to forge ahead on a higher road under the name “graphic novels.”
Above the surface are the adult titles that get all the attention, but one fortuitous side effect has been the focus on quality graphic novels for kids — particularly at the picture book appropriate age. It’s a natural progression — picture books and comics are close relatives, and both nurture a visual sophistication that is soon dispensed of once kids enter grade school.
One leader has been Toon Books, the imprint helmed by New Yorker art editor Francoise Mouly, with the assistance of her husband Art Spiegelman. The company’s books were smart and modern with a dab of tradition. Most importantly, they never play to the parent, but are on the kid’s level, understanding what content will strike them emotionally and intellectually and never allowing design to overtake the artwork.
This spring, the imprint will release two new titles — this month brings Harry Bliss’ “Luke on the Loose,” and May offers “Benny and Penny in The Big No No.”
The first is a slapstick tale that has the animated Luke not just loose but unleashed through New York City, as he happily chases a flock of birds across town. It’s both a tribute to young impulsiveness and a cautionary tale — Luke regularly wreaks havoc on other people’s moments and puts himself into some situations that might raise eyebrows from lesser picture book publishers.
In this way, Luke’s flirtation with danger in the name of self-expression is positively subversive — but the idea that he may be taking it all too far is not lost on the narrative. Leastwise, this should crack kids up with its bravado. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 10, 2008 § Leave a Comment
It’s always a great day when Art Spiegelman puts out something new and “Jack and the Box” is as delightful as a children’s book can be.
Spiegelman’s set-up is simple — a little bunny kid named Jack is given an unpredictable Jack in the Box toy that inspires slight terror before giggly delight. The Jack in the Box — whose name is Zack — is a mischievous toy who is so often pronounced silly that he’s able to get away with quite a bit. It becomes a Seussian tale of absurd excess as Jack must corral what he has unleashed from this playful Pandora’s Box.
As part of the Toon Books line, “Jack and the Box” is an easy reader comic, but rather than going for either the traditional page grid or a free form sequential style, Spiegelman has the story unfold entirely horizontally. It creates an ongoing narrative that begs the question, “Oh, no, what’s next?” Spiegelman lends plenty of atmosphere to the story by placing his characters against some unusual background washes, with foregrounds equally as off-the-beaten path — pages that mix gray-blues with aquas or throw light purples in there. Spiegelman’s shifting of the color scheme, which builds through the book, is simply masterful — it’s a multi-hued map of the emotional pathways in the story.
It’s always a pleasure to see someone so skilled as Spiegelman not only opt for simplicity to express his ideas, but to direct what results to kids.