Thursday, 12 September 2013

Witches and Fish: A Parable of Dreams Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Duncan Long
Art and Cover By Duncan Long

Published By Duncan Long Publications

Genre
Fantasy

Synopsis

With over 100 illustrations, this graphic novel is a dazzling feast for both the eye and the mind. The story Witches and Fish treads strange worlds where fish sing siren songs, a magic key unlocks doorways in the sky, and those too proud or too slow are transformed into piles of rust — or worse.

Nothing is quite what it seems in this visionary saga that starts with an odd account of creation, transitions to a pivotal moment of childhood kindness (that transforms a crow into a witch), and the quest of a boy for an Oz-like sky city. On his adventure, the boy changes into a man — and then into something else altogether. Finally, his journey ends with the perfect (if unexpected) twist.

The story has a fascinating collection of secondary plots woven throughout. And with its odd perspective and unexpected twists and turns, it’s a tale that quickly captivates the reader with breath-taking pictures providing the perfect counterpoint to the sparse yet witty text, creating a dreamlike narrative Lewis Carroll (or Carl Jung) would have appreciated.

Witches and Fish is an oddly sophisticated story in oral tradition’s clothing, both amusing and apocryphal, unfolding into a one-of-a-kind tale you’ll want to share and explore time and again.


Review

'Witches and Fish' is a weird graphic novel to review as it is many different things all at once.

It has elements of fantasy, old fashioned fireside tales, magic fairy tales and much more.  The story reads like a mix between a legend or a fantasy book and a story from the bible.  I don't mean that in a religious way but it reads in the same sort of writing style as that.

The writing style flows as if you're next to a campfire in a simple elegant way that really hooks the reader in and makes them feel like they're reading a classic myth or  legend.  It has that strange yet comforting feeling that you get when you read a well loved fairytale to your children at bedtime as well.  That for me, is what makes the title so unique.

Art wise, there is a lot of variety on show here.  Some pages work amazingly well and others not so well but the pages are never boring either way.  I don't want to spoil it for you as some of the art is stunningly beautiful so I won't sit here and list all the things I liked but the pictures here really had an other world style quality to them and that really stood out for me.

All in all, this title may not be to everyone's tastes because it does sit in so many genres but at the same time, it's well worth  picking up.  The gorgeous art work is stunning to look at, even the couple that don't fully work with the story.

Story 7/10
Art 7/10
Overall 14/20

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