Afar by Leila del Duca and Kit Seaton
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Image Comics (April 4, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632159414
ISBN-13: 978-1632159410

I’m not a huge graphic novel reader, but I pick them up for time to time and I have to say that the cover for Afar was the main draw fro me. That beautiful brown face peaking out from a backdrop of planets and stars called to me: “Read me! Read about all of my black girl magic!” And, of course I had to answer the call. My husband, on the other hand, is a huge comic fan. He reads them on a regular basis and often takes trips to the comic book shop on release days to pick up new issues. He also has an impressive collection of X-Men comics that no one is allowed to touch all sealed away in plastic covers at the very top of our home bookshelf.

As a big reader as a kid I loved making images in my mind that coincide with the words on the page. That’s where comics threw me. I had to concede my mind’s eye to the artist’s eye and I still have trouble with it to this day, but if the artwork is truly stunning then I can roll with it. Which brings us to Afar again.  It follows Boatema and your younger brother Inotu. They live in a postindustrial world that could be Earth or it could be someplace where humans now reside. In any case Boetema is the oldest and she’s kind of fed up with her conartist Father and the constant moving the family has to do. Things are further complicated when her parents leave her and her brother to fend for themselves while they find work elsewhere. She’s stressed out and irritated and she’s beginning to have weird dreams, dreams where she finds herself on different worlds, as different people, different creatures. Later, we find out that she’s got a rare power that she’s just beginning to understand.

The artwork in this is fantastic (I have to tweak Boatema’s signature hairstyle for my own collection) and I especially enjoyed the hyjinks her brother, Inotu would get into. He offers a bit of comic relief with his pet monkey and there’s a lightness to him that we see in elementary level books with black boy characters, but all but disappears as boys of color get older. In this world he’s free, happy and completely willing to follow a monkey into danger. She, on the other hand, is serious and smart and dedicated to her brother. It’s an all ages quick read.

This book is perfect for:

  • Anyone looking for a quick escapist read
  • Anyone who loves adventure stories
  • Anyone who lived for Guardians of the Galaxy
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