24th May 2008
kicking fandom’s ass since 2000
24th May 2008
I am a big fan of Tina Anderson’s work. Not so much for what she has her characters say, but for what is left unsaid and what you can infer from their silence. I’m also a fan of her because she always manages to make me think. You can’t just walk away from one of her stories being unaffected. You’re left pondering it and letting it roll around in your mind for hours after you’ve finished. This is probably why people who are just looking for fluff end up getting turned off by her work.
Set in Poland in 1938, we have Koby, a seminary student. Even though the churches have been closed and the priests have been removed from office, Koby’s determined to continue his schooling. The Nazi regime is encroaching more and more into his life. At first, it’s just little changes, but soon everything is topsy-turvy.
Enter Oskar, a classmate of Koby’s and a member of the Hitler Youth. Oskar takes great joy in bullying Koby. Koby takes the bullying, not that he has much choice otherwise, but there’s something more to it than just wanting to avoid trouble with anyone else. There’s something about Oskar that fascinates Koby.
There’s something about Koby that fascinates Oskar as well and that’s part of the problem. He wants Koby’s attention, but doesn’t know any way to get it other than threats of rape and beating.
Let me just gush for a moment with how Caroline drew the cat in the story. I’m always a sucker for a cat in any piece of work, but this was one of the better cats I’ve seen. It had nothing to do with the plot really, but it was so well drawn and true to life that it just made me happy to look at. The art is clean and crisp. I love the facial expressions on the characters.
There is so much good in this release that it’s hard to find just one thing to point out that’s truly exemplary. The sad part is that I know that a lot of people are going to be turned off by the subject matter and not even give this book a chance.
Read it. Let the story percolate in your head for a little while, then let me know what you thought of it. I want to know if other people found it as powerful as I did. This to me, is OEL (Original English Language) manga done right. Iris Print really does have their thumb on the pulse of what BL fans with half a brain want to see get released.