Written and Illustrated by Gustavo Borges
Colors by Cris Peter
KaBOOM!, An Imprint of BOOM! Studios
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Cover Price: $16.99
Comics are an amazing media form, folks. And while usually they create a story through a blending of words and art, this is not always the case. In fact, Petals is a prime example of masterful storytelling through art alone.
The emotion that is conveyed through sequential art is both deep and heartfelt. It reminds me of silent films and how they had to take such pains to ensure the audience was hooked in, though this is decidedly more difficult due to the lack of motion to accentuate the feelings of the characters.
The tale in Petals is both simple and complicated. A large beaked bird stumbles across a young fox out gathering wood. Following the fox home, he discovers the young son’s father is sick. Applying his skills the bird is able to heal the father, though a terrible price will be paid. A friendship is born, one that bridges the species gap and shows that all creatures are a part of the natural order of things.
Through helping others, a skill set is passed on. And though sometimes sacrifice occurs, it is sometimes necessary for the good of all. The bird is a force of good in the world and his cheerful disposition and ability to heal brings a ray of hope into an otherwise dismal setting. This hope blossoms in both of the foxes, son and father alike. A seed of love and hope is planted, teaching us all that we are part of something greater than ourselves.
Gustavo Borges broke my heart with his story and his beautiful renderings. The tale is well-balanced with sadness on one side and love on the other. The balance is maintained throughout the book, and things that are apparent at the beginning do not come to fruition immediately, instead they linger in the back of your mind, waiting to pounce. Cris Peter‘s coloration contribution to the art is the perfect companion, highlighting the necessities and creating a beautiful backdrop for the comic to play out.
I both loved and hated this graphic novel. I loved it through and through but hated the way it broke my heart just as I was thinking I was safe. So much is packed into this silent comic, I cannot begin to even explain it all. But I will say this is perfect for everyone. The empathy that you feel throughout it all will inspire you to do more, to be more. The premise is simple but the telling is complicated and is one you will unravel over time, rather than a one and done concept. Find this book for your collection, it is an amazing addition to any library, be it personal or public.
Ars longa, vita brevis.
Petals is a silent comic that tells the story of a family of foxes whose life is transformed by the arrival of a strange visitor during a harsh winter.
During a long winter two foxes, a father and son, try to survive the merciless cold but the father gets sick. In need of firewood, the young son ventures into the forest to grab what sticks he can carry and crosses paths with a tall and peculiar bird wearing a singular top hat. Making quick friends, the bird helps the young fox bring wood to his father and upon seeing the state of their house and their health, the bird decides to stay and help them with the winter.
A beautiful and deeply touching story about friendship, selflessness, and death that shows us the true power of community and working together for a better place. Written and illustrated by Gustavo Borges and colored by Cris Peter, this wonderful tale is brought to life with vivid imagination and artwork that is accessible to all readers!