Not all that many

The Few written by Sean Lewis, art by Hayden Sherman. Image, 2017. 9781534302358. Contains The Few #1 – #6. Publisher’s Rating: M / Mature.

Any dystopian graphic novel that opens by quoting Ursula K. Le Guin, as this one does, has my attention. There’s a lot to love in this book, including the smart bombs.

It opens with a young woman, Hale, running through a forest in what used to be Montana, chased by armed men, carrying a baby in her arms. That baby is wearing a gas mask. The pacing is perfect. The drawings’ eerie mix of sketchiness, textures, and screen tones say “ecological disaster.” It’s beautiful. The art reminded me of the sketchiness in FLCL and Ashley Wood’s robot/zombie books, and the use of color in Victor Santos’ Polar, but it has an energy all its own. Somehow, despite how stark it is, the drawings manage to give the characters a sense of grace. I haven’t loved a picture of a forest this much since being transfixed by a painting in a Baltimore art museum. (It was one of the pine forest paintings by Klimt. Photographs and prints don’t do it justice.)

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