Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Awakening by Donald Lemke

This was another Good vs Evil graphic novel from Capstone Publishing (under the name Stone Arch Books). I didn't like this one as well. There were some captivating moments and some interesting mix of the blue and the red in this one but the story didn't work for me.
Yoshiro Tanaka find a cassette tape (it's 1984 after all) and in playing it wakes a troll-like beast called the Oni. The story is far too frightening for young readers even though the simple language leads one to believe it is written for young readers. It is graphic and violent compared to everything else I have read published by Capstone.
There were moments where the panels seemed out of order and confusing. I learned in the section at the end that discussed the graphic novel process that this was somewhat intentional. I think of myself as rather intelligent and as an avid reader, pretty versed in the world of graphic novels and I was left scratching my head. I can't imagine what this would be like to read as a younger reader.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the premise. The world was well drawn and, as I said, I enjoyed the mix of the two worlds. For example, the Oni was paneled in red but there would be moments where the doorways would be blue indicating where Yoshiro was. Yoshiro's blood was blue in the red panels as well. At one point Yoshiro is grabbed by the Oni, Yoshiro was blue and the hand red. I really liked the artist imagary in this work.

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