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In the Sounds and Seas

By Marnie Galloway
Publisher: One Peace Books Copyright Year: 2016 ISBN/ISSN: 9781935548768

Review

This wordless black and white graphic novel is a rich, highly cerebral, and deeply melancholic adventure tale that walks a line between familiar storylines and something altogether unique. It begins at a campfire circled by three "singers," who, instead of producing sound, open their throats to create animals of the sky, sea, and land. They do so with somber expressions, later mirrored in the faces of a trio of friends working together to build a ship. One character acts as the heart of the story, the group, and of the vessel, her hair literally braided with the rope used to operate the sails and connect to the anchor. While at sea, they experience a brief moment of joy together before a disastrous storm threatens to destroy the ship. This title defies anyone who has ever believed that graphic novels are a dumbed-down reading experience. To fully understand and appreciate this title, student readers may need to revisit it multiple times and participate in supporting discussions or research the author's use of symbolism. Libraries in schools with filmmaking classes exploring visual storytelling or classes teaching The Odyssey or Moby Dick should find this title particularly useful.

Reviewer: Alexandra Quay
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 9-12
Review Date: January 1, 2017

Product Description

IN THE SOUNDS AND SEAS, a wordless comic characterized by poetic investigations in to mythology and the quest for meaning-making, brought to life by the mesmerizingly patterned ink illustrations of award-winning author Marnie Galloway. In the style of epic poems of myth and monsters, IN THE SOUNDS AND SEAS opens with a creation myth: three figures sit around a fire in the woods and burst in to song, and their voices weave and blend together to make the ocean and the world. Within this new world the boundary between truth and fiction, fantasy and reality, are blurred. The protagonist lives in this "sung" landscape where she builds a ship to sail and find the legendary singers of their world, with the help of two others who are less haunted by her mission. It is a story about obsessive creative production, the search for creative community and meaning through art, and what happens when dreams we invest our whole selves in to fail.

Media Type Book, eBook
Binding HC
# Pages 168
Price 24.95
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC) 9-12
Genre Fiction
Sub-Genre Comic & Graphic Novels
Content Subject 1 Fables, Folktales, Myths & Legends
Time Period NA
Region NA
Story: Thought Provoking
Characters/Characterization: Vivid/Well Developed
Language: Spare
Tone/Mood Bittersweet
Pace: Leisurely/Relaxed/Unhurried
Setting: Fantastical/World Building
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Entry ID: 2030591