1.03.2006

Graphic Novel Of The Month

Poor Sailor (Gingko Press): Sammy Harkham’s first feature length book is wonderful! These tales first appeared in the Kramer’s Ergot anthology and were originally published with other works. It’s collected here for the first time in a handsome hardcover book designed by Jordan Crane (also looks nice on the shelf next to The Clouds Above which recently came out). I love this book because it taps directly into one of the primordial struggles inherent to man. The dichotomy of a Hemingway inspired sense of adventure and independence juxtaposed against the sense of home and stability that familial domestication brings. The first lifestyle containing physical danger, while the latter presents one of a more spiritual kind. Unable to resolve these two competing paradigms, the title character is ultimately pulled into exploration. The book houses sparse dialogue due to its bold and successful reliance on conveying multiple emotions and thought structures through pictures alone. The title character ultimately transcends a heartbreaking homecoming, proof of the resiliency of the human spirit. Phenomenal work. Grade A+.

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