Jinchalo

Matthew Forsythe. Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 (152p) ISBN 978-1-77046-067-6
Midway through Forsythe’s mostly text-free graphic fable—the follow-up to the Eisner-winning Ojingogo—some readers may suspect that they are being fed some kind of moral, or worse yet, an allegory. What else can they be expected to make of a story so overstuffed with brazenly mythological overtones, journeys, mysterious creatures, and dreamlike encounters? A young girl of formidable appetite (she demolishes log-size sushi rolls like they were canapés) is sent off to market by her father to replenish their food supplies. It’s a simple enough task, but one immediately complicated by her running into a tricky shape-shifter. After that, she’s launched into one dream-logic encounter after another (robots, a headless giant meeting bodyless heads, a great tree that grows out of her pack). Forsythe’s manga-inspired style, with its mellow blue-tones and wide-open white margins is deceptively coolheaded. There’s a frantic but calculated imagination rumbling underneath the surface that recalls the films of Hayao Miyazaki in its fantastical beauty and the wordless glee of Andy Runton’s Owly. There likely are allegories upon allegories threaded through this book, but it can be enjoyed just as well without unraveling them. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
Release date: 02/01/2012
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