Tuesday, December 09, 2008

And You Think Things Are Bad Now. It Could Be A Whole Lot Worse.

I'm going to say right up front that as a general rule, I'm not terribly fond of apocalyptic novels. They tend to be very similar, I think. Everything's dreadful. People are suffering. Humankind usually brings the whole thing down on itself through messing with nature, religion, war, science, global markets. Somehow it's my fault.

In the graphic novelIn the Small by Michael Hague we're brought down by a mysterious blue light. After the light is gone, all of humanity (or so it appears) has shrunk. How will people survive when almost every creature on the planet is larger than they are and evidently carnivorous? Personally, I was impressed by how many family pets had been waiting their chance to turn on their human masters.

The survival aspect of the story is interesting and moves along quickly. However, the main character, Mouse (that's got to have some kind of meaningful significance) Willow, has premonitions or visions that make it possible for him to know just what needs to be done. What's more, as he's leading a group of co-workers from his father's office out to the 'burbs, he runs into one of those stereotypical street people who also has visions. Street guy's visions mesh very nicely with Mouse's.

The whole vision thing seemed out of place to me. It seemed like a quick and dirty way of giving a teenage boy a leadership position. His sister back home is quite a mighty sprite, and she doesn't need any visions.

Though some of the human figures in the panels seem a little roughly drawn, I don't think that's unusual in graphic novels. This is a color novel with glossy pages.

In the Small has been nominated for a Cybil in the Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novel category, though the publisher describes the book as young adult. Since the main character and his sister, the other big figure in the story, are teenagers and there are no major child characters in the book, young adult seems a more appropriate classification to me.

Parenthetical.net reviewed this book back in October.

Michael Hague was interviewed on In the Small at Newsarama.

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