“IN A WORLD OF CONSTANT WINTER… When an intelligence spy from the Resistance-the rabbit, Hardin-steals secret information from a military base of the Regime, his actions set off a chain of events that reverberates through the ranks of both sides, touching everyone from the highest-ranking official to the smallest orphaned child. When the snow finally settles, who will be the true patriot and who the true traitor?”
The heart wrenching blurb caught my eye while the cover of anthropomorphized rabbit running in a landscape does the rest for me. I have recently read about Alice in Wonderland, I did read about symbolism of animal in tales and this brought my interest for the “Iron or The War After”. It was until a few pages that I was immediately tuned to the work of SM Vidaurri.
The graphic novel started with gorgeous painting of a bird on a tree in shaded tones that was similar to eastern asian calligraphy painting. I am reading both in my B&W kindle and coloured in tablet and they were both definitely gorgeous in either medium. I noted the snowy landscapes that were beautifully captured by the artist and the relevance of anthropomorphized characters that were metaphorical crafted with each pages. By each pages, I found the soul within the novel that was painfully stroked into the paper and I was engrossed by the serious storyline.
Although the book is brief but the story is profound. Ink wash painting is a very highly skilled craft that I had tried once but never again. It is a hard work and require excessive patience and control to achieve a good stroke. Of course, it was very rare to find a western graphic novelist doing inkwash fully. However, I find the style is right for this novel. The overwhelming sadness and overtone of darkness that was carried by the characters in great depth was further emboldened by each contrasted frames . The artist effectively portrayed pretense confusions and self-contained destructiveness in great deal and he had given a sense of realism and identity to his work.
While I was not distracted by the artistry, I was utterly captivated by the characters in this book. Hardin’s desperation , his children’s sadness and anguish, Engel’s contempt and Pavel’s conflicts. Each chapters carried unpredictability, sense of morose and utter despair. It is truly an emotional work of art and I’m grateful to have experience it and enjoyed it thoroughly.
The ARC copy is provided by Archaia via Netgalley and the graphic novel will be published on November 27, 2012