Iron: Or the War After

Shane-Michael Vidaurri, Author, Shane-Michael Vidaurri, Illustrator
Shane-Michael Vidaurri. Archaia Entertainment (www.archaia.com), $24.95 (152p) ISBN 978-1-93639-328-2
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When a graphic novelist acknowledges Andrew Wyeth, Ernest Shepard, and Kenneth Graham as major influences, it’s a sure bet something different is about to unfold. This sober tale of espionage lives up to that promise, with a vibe best described as what happens when the cast of Wind in the Willows is dropped into the middle of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The story begins with the snatching of a top-secret document by a rabbit-headed thief, but soon unfolds into a much larger plot of destruction by a rebellious group acting against its government. Vidaurri’s plot swirls around the plights of many players—all with animal heads—including the dysfunctional government agents on the rabbit’s trail and the rabbit’s own children, who take the story into unexpected places and add the deepest human connection to the cast. Vidaurri’s surreal animal-headed characters inhabit a beautiful and foreboding gray world, intruded upon only slightly by flat colors, and laid against bleak washes. It all comes together as a fable of extreme political stands, and the gambits played and sacrifices made. (Dec.)
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