Thursday, December 10, 2009

Some New Kind of Slaughter

~0r~ Lost in the Flood (and How We Found Home Again)
Written by A. David Lewis
Art by mpMann

This is a very unique and scholarly from Archaia - exactly the type of work they were beginning to build a reputation for when they went on their lengthy publishing hiatus (and before working with the Gene Roddenberry and Jim Henson estates).

This panoramic graphic novel is concerned with the preponderance of flood myths in many different cultures. It uses one of these myths as its foundation as Ziusudra, a king who has led some of his people onto an ark to escape floodwaters, experiences visions of different flood stories, including a woman searching for her family in the flooded American heartland. The format is both effective and frustrating, as the narrative jumps between so many places with such similar events unfolding. The effect is kaleidoscopic in nature, and what sticks with the readers are the similarities more than the differences.

Of particular interest is the way in which Lewis and Mann deal with the Noah myth. They focus on his family relations, much as Timothy Findley did in 'Not Wanted on the Voyage' (which I never read in novel form, but I did see the play in high school). Noah's difficulty in communicating with his sons becomes central to the story here, just as Ziusudra is unable to communicate with his sleeping wife.

Mann's art is very nice here. He makes good use of the sideways format, which permits lots of wide-angle scenes (even while making reading in bed difficult). His style shifts subtly for different time periods or tales, but common links are established with a reliable colour palette of blues and greens.

This is a meticulously researched, and thought-provoking piece of work. I hope that the publication of this means that 'Inanna's Tears' might also see publication soon.

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