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.
This reminded me a lot of other wordless graphic novels/picture books I've read, especially the Arrival by Shaun Tan, which also follows a character through a bizarre city in a search for meaning.
Leaf is about a young man who discovers a mysterious blue glowing leaf and becomes determined to figure out where it came from and why there are no more in the industrialized city of black smoke where he lives.
He visits leafy libraries, follows the paths of dead leaves and eventually tracks the strange pipes back to the origin.
It's lovely artwork. I wasn't sure if it was as effective as a allegory about industrialization though, I didn't feel compelled to think too deeply about the transformation of wilderness into a concrete prison, but perhaps that is because compared to China we have pretty good air quality where I live, fewer large buildings and many less people.
Overall, though I would recommend this graphic, it's short, beautiful and it's message of returning to nature is a good one, if understated and subtle.