Broxo: a spooky, fast-moving adventure not to be missed
Zack Giallongo's Broxo is compared to Shadow of the Colossus, Bone, and Elfquest. For sure, if you put those into the shaker, and pour the mix over dry ice harvested from a spooky Celtic backwater, you'd get something much like this excellent graphic novel. But Giallongo's debut is no imitation. It's a a tight, gorgeously-illustrated journey of its own, a story of zombie-chopping action, homesickness and deeply-felt loss.
On a bleak and blasted mountain plateau, barbarian princess Zora searches for a distant clan thought to reside there. Why she searches, so far from her own family, is her own business. But all she finds is Broxo, living alone in the desolation, the last survivor. A friendly but feral teenager, Broxo rides a huge furry beast, eats baked lizards for dinner, and cuts a sharp path through the region's infestation of the walking dead.
The mountain has other, even more dangerous inhabitants, including Gloth, a vicious talking wolf, and Ulith, a sinister witch. Zora's arrival upsets Peryton Peak's uneasy peace, but an unexpected ally puts them on the right track. Broxo's unsocialized naiveté--and her quest--are both doomed from the outset. By the end, though, they find what they were looking for.
Giallongo draws with a loose hand, and the palette is tightly controlled. The result perfectly contrasts the mountain's desolate, subdued landscape against the youthful, bickering exuberance of its explorers. Broxo is driven by instinct and savvy, Zora by reason and fear, but they work well together and know how to handle danger.
The story moves brusquely. Giallongo is decisive, too, ready to invest page after page into quiet scene-setting or tension, yet unafraid to blast through developments at a breakneck pace when they come. Sometimes, I felt this economy tended toward the abrupt, demanding too much of a panel, a facial expression, or a moment of action or grief. I wanted it to linger more, to head a little deeper. This spareness is hard to fault, given all the bloated, soapy fantasy out these, but this book would have borne extra weight well.
Its G-ratedness keeps the monomythic waters a little too clear, too. The draugr-dicing gets repetitive, after a while, and hints of dark, fairy-tale sexuality--consider Ulith's femininity, her tragic interest in Broxo--are sanded Saturday-morning smooth.
A third longer, and I would have found it harder to evict Zora and Broxo from my mind. But the story is so sweet and so sad, and the art so perfect, that I want them back, ASAP, to show me more of Penthos.
Today sees the publication of Bonnie Burton’s (previously) long-awaited new book, Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy.
Tim Wu is a multiple threat: the originator of the term “net neutrality”; a copyfighting lawyer who cares about creator’s rights; a fair use theorist; Zephyr Teachout’s running mate in the NY gubernatorial race; an anti-monopolist who joined the NY Attorney General and used open source to catch Time Warner in the act; a lifelong deep nerd who was outraged by the persecution of Aaron Swartz, and the author of one of the seminal books on telcoms policy and human rights.
Now, he’s back with his best book yet: The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads, an erudite, energizing, outraging, funny and thorough history of one of humanity’s core undertakings — getting other people to care about stuff that matters to you.
Following complaints and a scathing exposé by Review Meta (previously) Amazon announced it will now ban incentivized reviews, a form of shill review written in exchange for free or reduced-cost products.
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