Nymph

Leila Marzocchi, trans. from the Italian by Jamie Richards and Kim Thompson. Fantagraphics, $29.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-68-396317-2
This lyrical modern fairy tale opens with a limbless caterpillarlike girl falling from the sky and into a small, busy forest. As she takes up residence in an abandoned tree house, the local owls and their guardian deity, the Hand of Fatima, make a pact to protect her. “First lesson of the luminous world,” they warn, “smaller beings get swallowed up by bigger ones.” Over time the larva grows, escaping her babysitters to enjoy adventures in the forest, and begins to wonder what she is and where she belongs. The soft, vibrant artwork suggests elements of antique woodcut illustrations, early animated cartoons, and classic children’s artists such as Tove Janssen. Marzocchi devotes equal time to the curious young newcomer and the world around her, a complex community of oddball creatures—birds, squirrels, spiders, tree spirits—wrapped up in their idiosyncratic concerns as they bustle through natural settings depicted with imaginative detail and care. The forest is both a playful woodland, with the story sometimes pausing to map out whimsical landmarks like Burnt Spruce Forest and Termite Territory, and a mystical site of prophesies, quests, and visions. A dreamy, childlike fantasy with a bracingly adult perspective, the comic defies categorization, metamorphosing like its heroine in strange and unexpected ways. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/07/2020
Release date: 08/04/2020
Genre: Comics
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