Introduction:Young Fi’s mother passed away when she was only four and since then hasn’t quite been the same. Her father Eric, a professor at the university is called back to Fi’s mother’s hometown when a new species is discovered. It is an unusual creature, something between a bear and a rabbit, and Fi’s father thinks it could be the discovery of his lifetime. What Fi discovers in the hometown of her mother is so much more than she could possibly dream up.
VitalsTitle: August Moon
Creator: Diana Thung
Writer: Diana Thung
Artist: Diana Thung
Content: August Moon contains some violence, action, and mythical creatures. It is suitable for most ages.
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Story:Fi Gan is a typical girl, constantly in her headphones and seeking solace from her scientifically minded father. She is whisked off to Calico, her mother’s hometown, on the rumor of a great scientific discovery and Fi must go along for the ride and stay with her Uncle. The small town is not her ideal travel destination and her misery is amplified by her uncle who continues to bring up her resemblance to her mother Fay.
When Fay meets the Jaden, the town’s equivalent of Huck Finn, an adventure starts that will awaken her spirit and reveal a connection between herself and her mother. She soon learns that the town of Calico is a very special place inhabited by creatures of myth and legend. When it is discovered that there are beings who are lurking in Calico, seeking to eradicate the creatures and the town, Fi must act and work with Jaden to save them all.
Review:There are a few times where a comic book comes along and really touches a special place in ones heart and mind and August Moon is that kind of comic. Diana Thung does a fantastic job of tapping into the innocence of our childhood imagination where creatures of good and evil are just out of sight in the corner of our eyes. They are a blur or shadow of motion that we just get a small glimpse of and write off as a figment of our imaginations. August Moon really captures these feelings that we all had as a kid and would have loved to be true.
The story is very reminiscent of different Anime’s I have seen like Totoro and Spirited Away. Both being stories of a girls exposure to a mythical world just out of sight to adults and end up going on a fantastic adventure.
It was interesting to see all these complex ideas of death, science, myth, reason and whimsy come together. Even though the graphic novel comes in at over three hundred pages, it didn’t feel like a chore to get through as the pace and tension played quite well throughout. I personally would have liked a bit more information about these creatures of good and evil, as well as who Jaden really was, but I can see how not knowing added to the mystery and suspension of belief.
The art had elements that were both simplistic and detailed. A lot of the backgrounds and buildings had a basic feel to them, but each character was very distinctive from the rest. The black and white coloring was also well done and I enjoyed the way Thung uses texturing in the dark black areas to suggest things like light, shadows, and reflection.
There were a lot of little treasures throughout August Moon that were a real treat. The penciled Polaroid pages that show the moments that Fi captures throughout the story were a nice touch. Thung also uses many different perspectives in her panels that really added great feel to the overall presentation.