By Koppy McFad
January 26, 2008 - 00:22
An enigmatic story of a man with a burning desire to fly and how a chance encounter in the desert changes his life.
The protagonist, Boyd (get the pun?) has always had an obsession to fly, leaping off roofs, studying birds and insects and once almost jumping off a bridge. After this incident, hHe thinks he has overcome this self-destructive urge until one day, a strane, little man visits him, knowing that some years ago, Boyd found a dead body in the Arizona desert that might unknowingly help Boyd realize his dreams.
The story of this graphic novel is not told in a straightforward manner and much of it comes in flashbacks as Boyd writes a letter to the mysterious Julia, confessing his dark secrets and his new fears. This may be initially confusing at first but after awhile, it gets easier to follow.
The art is detailed and imaginative, using a simple four-panel-per-page system all throughout but combining it with a cinematic tracking of the lead characters. We see things only from the viewpoint of these characters or from odd angles, often taken in extreme close-up, that reveal key details, while keeping other aspects of the story hidden.
This story isn't misantrophic, like too so many other comic-book indie works. But it isn't easy to categorize either. The ending looks happy but too many details remain unexplained-- as the author probably intended. (Did the little man want Boyd to fly all along?) Even the title is a mystery. The "Julia" that Boyd is writing to is never seen or described. Even the presumed photographs of her have her face eerily scratched out, though it is hard to tell if this was done with malice. The story leaves the reader with conflicting feelings of both relief at how things turned out and unease over what happened in the first place. Part wonder, part concern. It is certainly a unique comic that does not rely on shock, action or sheer weirdness to leave a strong impression.