Kingdom

Jon McNaught. Nobrow, $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-910620-24-3
McNaught’s visual poem captures both the boredom and enchantment of family vacations. Teenage Andrew and his little sister, Suzie, are towed by their mother to Kingdom Fields Holiday Park, where she alludes to her own childhood memories by observing, “I guess this is... it.” McNaught is not much interested in dialogue or plot, though there is no shortage of text, from retail signage to the “plip plip” of water dripping in a seaside cave. He invests instead in mood, and sometimes sections a page with as many as 34 panels, each focusing on a detail—rain falling outside a store window display, flies alighting on the corpse of a sheep—in a palette of pinks and blues. Andrew and Suzie absorb it all placidly, as if everything bears roughly the same emotional weight. Things happen—the kids have a somewhat awkward visit with their grandmother, poke around some beach ruins, and Andrew makes a friend. But, while this graphic novel is stylishly rendered, readers looking to hook on to a story-centered narrative may struggle. While McNaught’s collage slow-pan has its joys, it’s like the comics equivalent of arthouse cinema and will mostly appeal to particular readers eager to put in the work of appreciating it. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/16/2019
Release date: 07/09/2019
Genre: Comics
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