That Salty Air: Review I Agree With

First in a series of Reviews I Agree With, covering books I’m not reviewing myself (usually because I have nothing to add).

That Salty Air cover
That Salty Air
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From Greg McElhatton at Read About Comics, covering the debut graphic novel by Tim Sievert:

In some ways, That Salty Air reminded me of Moby Dick. There’s the obvious parallel of both being in a nautical setting, but there’s more to it than just that. The comparison probably came about because That Salty Air has Hugh’s need for revenge being focused on the sea, one that quickly turns into a dangerous obsession. It’s an interesting transformation for Hugh, especially serving in sharp contrast to Hugh’s earlier easy-going demeanor. Unfortunately, one you take that part away from Hugh there’s not really much to his character; both he and Maryanne come across as a bit two-dimensional, and it’s hard to really empathize with either of their plights.

… Accepting the magical realism nature of the book is, I think, somewhat critical to enjoying That Salty Air. Once it became more clear, Maryanne and Hugh’s actions seemed less like a cliché and more like they were part of a greater whole, a sequence of events that they can’t really break free from. In a book where bargains are being made with an octopus, one almost feels like you’re reading a fable transformed into modern times. The art was definitely the high point of That Salty Air for me.

An interview with the author at Comic Book Resources talks about his motivations. See a preview at the Top Shelf website.

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