Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Park Graphic Novel Review

Review By Patrick Challis

Written By Oscar Zarate
Art By Oscar Zarate
Cover By Oscar Zarate and Txabi Jones

Published By Self Made Hero

Drama, Comedy


A silent movie plays and those existential clowns Laurel and Hardy are trading blows in their endless feud.  In the real world, things aren't always black and white.  In the technicolour glory of a summer's day in a London park, another cycle of tit-for-tat revenge is about to begin...

Award-winning novelist Oscar Zarate's latest work links the lives of two single-parent families in to a tense and dramatic chain of causation, levelling a delicate bird's-eye view - and a distinctively modern take - on  this oldest of human stories.

Part Greek Tragedy, part slapstick comedy, and itself a wholly original work of art, 'The Park' celebrates the redemptive, civilizing powers of nature...and of love


Oscar Zarate is one of those rare breeds of writers where his reputation is most definitely well deserved.  Here, the award-winning author turns his hands to a graphic novel telling the story of how a feud can run on and on, getting worse and worse as times goes on.

The story here is beautifully written and the characters so well done that it's almost as if you are sat in the park itself watching the events unfold before your very eyes.  Zarate's writing always has had a knack for grabbing you and gently involving you so much in the story that you become emotionally involved in every little thing that happens.  That's very evident here.

One of the clever things about this graphic novel was the fact that the scenes in the comic book tie in so well with the 'Laurel and Hardy' snippets that run through the book.  It creates a great look at how different it is to have a tit for tat argument in real life and one in the slapstick comedies of that era.

Talking of  scenes, the artwork in this graphic novel is absolutely stunningly beautiful.  The watercolour style of art manages to both make the panels seem other worldly and yet at the same time, look shockingly emotive.  That's most true on the facial expressions of the characters throughout the story.  Sometimes dialogue isn't needed at all and a lot of the story is told with a simple look or with minimal dialogue.  The last time I was this impressed with the style of art was when I read another Self Made Hero released called 'The Murder Mile'.  I would honestly buy this graphic novel just for the art alone so the fact that it has beautiful art and fantastic writing is a real treat for a book worm such as myself.

As always with Self Made Hero, their releases get better and better with each release from their catalogue and this one is no different.  I would even go so far as to say that this is one of their best and when you see the ones that have come before this one, that's a mighty big compliment.

Story 9/10
Art 10/10
Overall 19/20

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