By LJ Douresseau
January 10, 2005 - 13:52
OWLY is a 5¼ x 7½ graphic novel made of two novellas featuring a lonely little owl with kind heart large enough for that big old scary world out there. In the first novella, “The Way Home,” Owly helps a lost little worm find his way home to his parents by embarking on the long journey home with the worm. In the second novella, “The Bittersweet Summer,” Owly and his li’l worm pal befriend a hummingbird couple. The quartet spends a lovely summer together, but as the season winds down to fall, it becomes increasingly difficult for the birds to remain with Owly and li’l worm.
Owly is a graphic novel in the sense that the story is told using sequential comics, but it also works like a children’s picture book or story book. Cartoonist Andy Runton tells his stories in pantomime or silent comics using a mixture of symbols, icons, and physical expressions, which are familiar to most readers of the English language and other Western languages. His drawing style features animated and expressive characters and a clean, evocative line – all of which creates a heartwarming atmosphere.
Runton and Top Shelf have fooled us into think of Owly as a graphic novel, but the book is really just good storytelling regardless of format. Author and publisher have presented a winning package, meant for all who would enjoy the art of what we simply call comics. A-