Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Seeds", No Doubt

I just finished reading a preview copy of Ross Mackintosh's Seeds, c/o Com.X, and recommend it -- highly, in fact, especially if your own life has been touched by a deadly disease or the loss of a loved one. So...I highly recommended it to everyone, ya?

Seeds is certainly right up my cancerous, daddy-issued alley. The cancer was mine, but I happened to lose my father suddenly and traumatically in a way that this book manages to tap into in so many ways. Mackintosh expresses many feelings about his relationship with his father in life and death that I either wasn't aware of or didn't know how to express in relation to my own.

As a graphic novelist, Mackintosh's storytelling is tight. His distillation of an incredibly personal yet wholly universal experience down to its most essential, evocative moments makes for a powerful comic experience. His deceptively simple illustrations and script make for a quick read, but also a deep, emotional one.

Ross Mackintosh the writer presents Ross Mackintosh the character as a relatable, likable everyman dealing with the inevitability of mortality. Now this comes with the exception of one awkward spread where Ross discusses plans to make a graphic novel about his experience before the story has even resolved, painting himself as uncharacteristically insensitive and opportunistic. But from the rest of the tale, I suspect that it is safe to say this sequence of events was the truth of his experience, an honest admission that the slow trauma of losing a father to cancer got his creative juices flowing even before dad hit a terminal state. This moment bothered me until I thought back to my own experience and related...which bothered me even more, but with an added layer of appreciation for the book.

Seeds is a very good book. Short, but also priced reasonably for the length. Even if you don't relate to the story (you will), expect to be moved.

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