Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Parade (With Fireworks) by Mike Cavallaro YP FIC CAVALLAR

Paolo went to war and came home changed by it, but worse still is how his home is changing. Repelled by the violence of Chicago, Paolo returns to his Italian village to find that it has been invaded. Not by a foreign force, but an insidious and dangerous idea: Fascism. Soon after a tragic and violent end to a local parade, Paolo finds that all his ideas of justice and honor are obsolete in the new Italy.

I’ll start with the bad news. I wish that this book was twice as long. The story is developing so well and then everything ends quite abruptly. I really feel like Cavallaro could have begun the story sooner in Paolo’s life or ended it later than he did. However, the story we do get is pretty darn good. The art is beautifully painted and reminds me of Jeff Smith’s Bone series (YP FIC SMITH). Cavallaro, like Smith is able to use simple cartoonlike designs that convey a surprising depth of emotion. There is only one action sequence, but is so well done and iconic that is stands out as one of the better drawn shootouts I’ve seen all year. Cavallaro wrote Parade for, a collection of artists making free webcomics. It is an excellent site and worth checking out if you like comics even a little bit. And even though I feel like the ending should be stronger for Parade the excellence of the art make it a must read for fans of intelligent comics.

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