cover image The Lost Colony Book 1: The Snodgrass Conspiracy

The Lost Colony Book 1: The Snodgrass Conspiracy

Grady Klein, . . Holt/First Second, $14.95 (118pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-097-6

This somewhat perplexing book is ostensibly the story of an island cut off from the rest of colonial America. The island is populated by a variety of "characters" who are just that—sitcom stereotypes without real motivation. Add to that the strange combination of both faux historical language and modern terms like "dude" and problematic artwork, and you have a book that doesn't quite hit its stride. At its center, this book is trying to tell a story about America in transition, about slavery and technology and capitalism. An old inventor comes up with a machine that will replace slaves, while another man, Snodgrass, attempts to manipulate the local currency. But the reasons for these characters' actions remain vague. The thick black outlines in Klein's artwork are filled in with a vast amount of digital effects, which distract and confuse rather than describe and elucidate. His storytelling is similarly busy, with each page filled with odd-sized panels without apparent rhyme or reason. The Lost Colony stakes out ambitious and worthwhile territory, but it needs to find a focus. (May)