cover image The Bend of Luck

The Bend of Luck

Peter Hoey and Maria Hoey. Top Shelf, $19.99 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1-60309-509-9

Luck is more than an abstract concept in this mysterious graphic novel from the Eisner-nominated sibling comics team the Hoeys (Animal Stories). The volume opens with chapters alternating between two seemingly unrelated San Francisco–set stories. In the first, two prospectors search for the score that will make them rich. In the second, a man jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge without leaving a note. These seemingly straightforward narratives curl and knot in eerie, unexpected ways. Instead of gold, the prospectors are looking for actual “luck,” given physical form as small blue glowing gems whose properties are so powerful people will kill for them. While the prospectors’ story takes dark, greed-inflected turns, the parallel tale traces a widow’s grief, hollowed out by her not knowing what happened to her husband. As she shuts down his small hat-making business (named Lucky), the Hoeys fill in connections between the suicidal milliner and the danger-courting prospectors. The bright and crisply drawn scenes feature blocky Daniel Clowes–ian figures and a deadpan acceptance of absurd coincidences that place the work in an uncanny valley between realism and fantasy. While not as visually complex as their prior work, the Hoeys’ fans will find this interlude offers layers and rewards multiple readings. (Aug.)