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Monday, July 27, 2015

The Great Salt Lake. Matt Taylor (Writer & Art). (2014)

A nearly wordless comic that solves the problems being wordless creates with thoughtful skill. A man is adrift in a small boat upon a sea and he remembers times with his wife as he struggles to survive.
The writing is tight and economical, the pacing is very nicely balanced and the variety of situations that Matt Taylor conjurers up from a seemingly very restrictive context is astonishing, the story has a strong momentum and narrative grip.
The art has to do everything in the absence of text and it does superbly, the different forms of danger from the sea are given shape and form that give them weight and force. The mental and physical toll being taken on the sailor by hunger and isolation are made clear. The sailor's expressions and body language are eloquent and his determination to survive palpable.The visualisation of the various threats from the sea are beautifully done, they combine menace and beauty, the sailor's final defiance of the sea is dramatic and very well staged.
The page structures with different panel sizes controls the narrative and story pacing without every being obtrusive, they give the story a variety that it needs as the context is so uniform. The conclusion of the story is somewhat open, the significance of the text on the final page, the only text in the book, passed me by entirely. A slight story really strongly told, Matt Taylor is a significant talent.

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