Rice Boy

Evan Dahm. Iron Circus, $30 trade paper (460p) ISBN 978-1-945820-10-6
Rice Boy, like so many humble heroes, has greatness thrust upon him in Dahm’s kaleidoscopic fantasy. The eponymous protagonist, a pawn-shaped being who lives alone in a hollow tree, is told by a dapper android named the One Electronic that he must fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world. Rice Boy is reluctant, but his purity of heart drives him to complete the quest. Upon this simple structure Dahm (Vattu) shapes his adventure tale, one as whimsical and bizarre as it is deeply felt. The contrast between the traditional nature of the story arc and the innovation of Dahm’s visuals catapults the volume to the heights of the genre. His hero, as true and earnest as Frodo, Harry, and Beowulf before him, journeys through a landscape of sentient cowboy boots, immortality-granting liquors, and magical keys made from leaves. A lesser creator might have let these flights of fancy carry the story off a cliff, but Dahm tethers his narrative to bedrock emotion. The One Electronic longs for closure. A bloodthirsty king seeks victory at any cost. Rice Boy wants, only and always, to be kind. The result: an epic of grand ambition, startling choices, and sterling heart. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/26/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
Genre: Comics
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