That Salty Air by Tim Sievert

That Salty Air
by Tim Sievert
Top Shelf Productions, 2008

In the current publishing environment, it’s rare to see a first graphic novel published which isn’t utterly exceptional. This book is merely very, very good; it appears that the publishers can see potential in Sievert and have invested in him, expecting greater things in the future.

It’s almost like a short story by Hemingway: Hugh’s mother has died and he blames the sea, to the extent of attempting to beat it up, which is hard position for a fisherman to maintain in the long run. His wife Maryanne tries to be understanding, but has her own pregnancy and magic-realist problems to deal with, including a solicitous giant squid.

The high-contrast illustrations seem influenced by the graphic simplicity of Jeff Smith’s Bone, which makes for a powerfully-told, if slightly overwrought, story.

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