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.
In The Oversight, Charlie Fletcher introduced us to a secret history of London and the ancient order that defended it from the creatures of the dark. Now, with The Paradox, a sequel, Fletcher plunges the bedraggled heroes of the Oversight into danger that they may not be able to best.
Randall “XKCD” Munroe’s Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.
Craig Thompson’s second graphic novel, the 582-page mammoth Blankets, swept the field’s awards, taking three Harveys, two Eisners, and two Ignatzes. More than a decade later, and buoyed by his later successes (such as 2011’s seminal Habibi), Drawn and Quarterly has produced a beautiful new edition.
The Micro Drone 2.0+ is truly in a league of its own, offering a new perspective on aerial photography, and a world of technological capabilities that make flying ridiculously fun. Simply throw it in the air at any angle and its self-correcting algorithm will stabilize for smooth sailing in no time. You’ll stay entertained with […]
Celebrate Cyber Monday with some brain food. Save on any eLearning deal in the Boing Boing Store today using coupon code: CYBERMONDAY25. Below are a couple of our favorite eLearning offers: eduCBA Tech Training Bundle: Lifetime Subscription:Welcome to your personal online classroom, where you can finally study at your own pace, on your own time (and […]
This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]