Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso

Artichoke Tales
by Megan Kelso
Fantagraphics Books, 2010

Ten years in the making, this is the story of three generations of the Quicksand family, who exist in a fanciful island divided into North (where the inhabitants work metal and eat fish) and South (where they forage for berries and know a lot about horticulture). The country is split by civil war, an especially pointless act when you consider that all the characters have artichoke-shaped hair and are extremely difficult to tell apart. It’s more Tolkien than Sneetches, but only just.

Considering the length of time this book took to produce, the drawing is impressively consistent. It wasn’t to my personal taste (I kept getting flashbacks to Snugglepot and Cuddlepie) but it has moments of reverie similar to parts of Dylan Horricks’s Hicksville, where the world stands still and characters are given a chance to just think.

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