Grafity’s Wall

Ram V and Anand Radhakrishnan. Dark Horse, $19.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-50671-582-7
V and Radhakrishnan’s vibrant graphic novel follows four young dreamers’ coming-of-age and doubles as a portrait of Mumbai, the bustling and grimy metropolis where their youthful exploits take place. Grafity, a street artist, gets freed from arrest thanks to a bribe from the charismatic Jay, only to meet further conflict at home, where his father’s own failed dreams of being a singer have soured into a contagious disillusionment. The next chapter peels back Jay’s confident veneer, detailing his subservience to a vicious drug dealer named Mario. The story moves on to Chasma, a writer, who counters racial prejudice and loneliness by giving letters to strangers on the street (a habit that feels like a contrivance). Finally, Saira, the requisite underrealized mysterious beauty, is attracted to sensitive Chasma and his writing—and deals with Mario’s unwanted advances. Radhakrishnan’s fluid, rakish art recalls Paul Pope and teems with depictions of the city’s traffic, commuters, beggars, and street vendors. Mumbai’s millions of lives provide a constantly unfolding multiplicity of stories surrounding the four protagonists, told through small asides and artistic detail in the background. Despite some messy plot moments, the fabulous art and sense of place carry this story of four very different people and their aspirations in a city where the odds are stacked against them. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 02/06/2020
Release date: 03/31/2020
Genre: Comics
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