ICv2 Stars: 3.5 (out of 5)
Posted by Nick Smith on October 21, 2015 @ 8:21 pm CT
Publisher: NBM/Comics Lit
Release Date: October 2015
Creator(s): Olivier Morel (Writer), Mael Morel (Artist)
Format: 120 pgs., Limited-Color, 7.7"x10.5", Hardcover
Age Rating: N/A
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
This is a difficult story to read, due to the nature of the material. It is a bit like the recent Mike's Place, in that it’s about both the making of a documentary and the people who are its subjects. This one is even more close to home, as the story of American veterans who have returned from the wars in the Middle East.
The book raises far more questions than it answers, or even examines. One comes way with the feeling that a higher percentage of recent vets suffer problems after returning home, or is it only that we notice them more? Or do we support them less? Olivier Morel does not make himself out as a hero, and in fact there is a danger that his quest to tell these stories might have harmed the veterans he interviewed. His examination of that possibility is part of the story.
Mael's art is important to the story, but in some ways makes it uncomfortable to process the contents. I presume that this was deliberate, but in several cases, the graphic depictions of violence make the story difficult to experience. There is also a constant tension in the interview sequences, as some of the veterans seem very near the edge, and whether deliberately or not, Morel puts himself on that same edge more than once.
The graphic violence will limit this to adults and older teens.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.