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Hollowspine

I'm Reading Comeeks

I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc.  And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.

Beautiful Revenge

Red: A Haida Manga - Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Red starts out a young boy, accompanied by his sister, he has an ideal life.  However, after his coming of age rite, his sister is taken by raiders, who attempt to take him as well.  Though he escapes and grows to be the leader of his village he is never able to forget his sister and revenge for her kidnapping leads him to make harsh decisions that lead to wide spread consequences.

 

The author blends the artwork and spoken word of the Haida people with the Japanese Manga form creating a Haida Manga.  Instead of distinct, mainly square and rectangular, panels reading left to right the Haida Manga is a much more flowing story, it's vibrant panels seemingly random in proportion with thick black arcs shaping the action.  

 

This is my first time reading a Haida Manga, so I didn't completely understand the reason behind the lines until the very end where each page is laid out and the 'panels' form a larger picture connecting each page of the story into a bigger picture.  My only qualm with it was that it was reproduced at such a small scale, I would have enjoyed seeing it much larger!

 

The vibrant watercolors create beautiful images, yet the story depicted is a violent and tragic story.  The artist apparently welcomes his readers to take the book apart in order to assemble the bigger picture and follow the story through.  I love books, so the thought of disassembling such a beautiful thing makes a sweat prickle the back of my neck, but even I am tempted to do just that in order to see this artwork fully realized.