Sometimes a simple cartoon, when there’s a single character, can convey your story perfectly. How you feel about one desperate person chained to a radiator, held hostage, will equate to how much you’d enjoy this comic. It’s a well-done attempt to evoke empathy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite of the usual escapist fare that dominates American comics. The monochromatic palette demonstrates the hazy, monotonous feeling of two days, after an entire month previously, of being a hostage in an apartment in Chechnya. You know the little the hostage knows; you appreciate the things you do with your freedom, especially your free time. Delisle’s work even in so brief a sample does leave an impression on which to linger. The situation he wishes to convey is not very detail-intensive. I recognize the craft, but I think I’d be more attracted to some of the other real-world-inspired offereings from D & Q more.
3 ½ stars of 5.
Poppies of Iraq
Here, the cartoons are even simpler.
Childhood’s evoked by a story that looks drawn by a child. If you want to understand a society robbed of its freedoms gradually, this autobiography does the job from a very personal viewpoint. You don’t get a lot of multi-character dramatic interaction, and the plot’s a combination of recollection and national events. Poppies, however, humanizes the people of a very misunderstood part of the world- helps you see how government censorship and control shapes opinions by leaving its people in the dark for information. The drawings do add some effective emotional texture to what is mostly hand-lettered text- one I would’ve enjoyed, anyway, but they do work together in a legitimate comic book fashion.
I salute Drawn and Quarterly’s work overall for stretching the bounds of adult, editorial, awareness-enhancing content. 4 *s of 5 C Lue