Out May 20, Andrew MacLean‘s ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria For the End Times is a fascinating graphic tale of a girl and her cat in a beautiful, damaged, deadly post-apocalyptic world. The story focuses on a woman and her cat trying to survive in this world, caught between to battling factions. At the same time she’s attempting to maintain her sanity after being abandoned in a scouting mission, she battles loneliness. Finally the story really focuses on what “home” means, and that even the worst situations and places can still be home.
The first thing that’s noticeable is the art. MacLean has an a style I’d associate more with European graphic novelists than what we’d find here in the US. It’s simple and beautiful to look at, adding just the right amount of detail, and at the same time not cluttering the page. The sparing use of colors enhances the look. It’s just beautiful to look at, there’s no other way to put it. You linger on each page checking out every small detail that’s been added, as if every line enhances to storytelling.
The story itself is fun and interesting with a twist towards the end I didn’t see coming at all. The comic is a layered morality tale, focusing on human nature, its propensity for destruction and through all of that, we still call each other a people and Earth home. There’s morals in there, but it’s a bit deeper than a normal comic, challenging the reader a bit. Even if you reject that sort of story, it’s still a fun, action packed comic with some fine twists and turns. I came out of it thinking a bit more about its deeper meaning. It’s a great read for a graphic novel club, perfect for debating it’s themes after.
There’s also a recurring references to opera and music. I’m sure there’s many more out there who are much more intelligent than I that can explain the significance (if any) of each of the choices of music. Again, it adds to that post reading examination that I enjoy in a comic. It’s there, but not explained for the reader, forcing us to do a bit more research and put more thought into the inclusion of the music.
The graphic novel is beautiful, and priced for a steal at $9.99. I highly recommend checking it out when it hits shelves in late May.
Story: Andrew MacLean Art: Andrew MacLean
Story: 8 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with an FREE copy for review