cover image Garden


Yuichi Yokoyama. Picturebox (, $24.95 paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-9826327-1-0

When a group of friends decides to enter a garden through a break in an enclosing fence, they find themselves in a world never before imagined. Instead of wandering through a natural landscape, they are in the midst of a fusion of the natural and mechanical, including rivers of slowly moving balls, buildings of finely cut paper, and mountains made of seed bags. As the characters move from one part of the garden to the next, their dialogue is exclusively devoted either to describing matter-of-factly what they see or asking questions about it, questions that are often delightfully unanswered. If this seems bizarre it certainly is, but it is also strangely beautiful and illuminating. Yokoyama (Travel; New Engineering) creates a visual landscape that is so imaginative and so dynamic that it sometimes looks as if Picasso and Dal%C3%AD are having an intellectual argument about the limits of manga as an art form. Ultimately, the narrative is a celebration of the natural world through the observation of its forces at work, rather than a critique of our fascination with technology, though some will no doubt read it this way. A stunning, mind-expanding achievement of graphic storytelling. (May)