Jul 23, 2009

Slow Storm by Danica Novgorodoff

Slow Storm by Danica Novgorodoff

Set in Kentucky, Slow Storm tells the story of Ursa Crain, a fire-fighter, and Rafi, a young Mexican immigrant. Rafi is lonely and homesick. He works as a stable boy and spends his nights sleeping among the horses. Ursa meets him when the stable burns down during a storm and she comes to fight the fire. Because Rafi is illegal, he panics when Ursa offers to take him to the hospital. So instead she takes him home, and the two end up staying up late talking about their lives.

I suppose it could be said that the story told in Slow Storm doesn’t go anywhere much, but this wasn’t at all a problem for me. The point isn’t really for it to go anywhere, but to show a moment of connection between two people. And I’m a sucker for stories like this: stories about connections that however brief leave a mark.

I found Slow Storm very moving. There’s a panel in particular I wish I could show you, but I couldn’t find it online, and plus I guess you need to see it in context for it to really make an impact. But if you decide to read this book, I think you’ll know which one I mean.

Both Rafi and Ursa are disappointed with how their lives have turned out, and the mood of the book is heavy and melancholy. Still, it’s far from being completely bleak. There’s no big revelation at the end, no drastic change in the characters’ lives, but we still get to see how a moment of kindness, of empathy and connection, can make a difference. This is a quiet and subtle story, and that is something I really appreciate.

Another thing I loved was the art. The fact that I’m a big fan of watercolours helps, but I also love how great Danica Novgorodoff is at capturing moods and facial expressions. There are several wordless panels that convey emotions better than words could (in fact, the favourite I mentioned before is one of them).

Slow Storm

This is something I love about comics: that both the words and the art do their thing, neither making the other redundant. Of course, not all comics success in this, but Slow Storm absolutely does. A few more panels:

Slow Storm


Slow Storm

Slow Storm

You can see more of the art here.

Other Opinions:
Page 247
Fantasy Book Critic
Bart's Bookshelf
(Did I miss yours?)

21 comments:

  1. Wow, those panels are gorgeous! I love it. Once again, you add another book to my list.

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  2. The panels look fabulous. They really show the depth of the story. I am going to find it difficult to resist a graphic novel soon. You tempt me with so many.

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  3. This looks fascinating, and would be good for the Southern Reading Challenge too!

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  4. This intrigued me! Initially I thought it's a novel. ;)

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  5. I found while inadvertently turning June into Graphic Novel month that I was the most pleased with comics that used water colors as their medium. I felt the blurring on the lines created almost a false movement.

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  6. I was totally confused until I realized that you must be talking about a graphic novel. I have never even tried to get into one but the more I hear about the great stories that are being told the more tempted I am.

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  7. Which is the panel you wanted to show but couldn't find online?

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  8. Wow, thanks for sharing those images. I'll be on the lookout for this one!

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  9. Amanda: yay! I hope you enjoy it :)

    Scrap Girl: The day you do I will feel very accomplished and proud :P

    Tricia: True, it would!

    Melody and Nicole: Oops, I should have made it clearer early on. Sorry :P I hope you both give it a try anyway, though. There really are great stories being told in this medium!

    Christina: There's just something about watercolours, isn't there? And sigh, I wish I could have a graphic novels month. If only my library had them...

    Anonymous: Page 155, when Rafi holds Ursa's hand. I loved that moment.

    Darla: I think this is right up your alley :)

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  10. I really like the artwork! I've never really read any comic books, but maybe it's time to start! I've read one, however, that I really liked:

    http://www.lightchildren.com/

    check it out sometime! : )

    -She
    A Book Blog. Period.

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  11. Yes, of course I now want to read this. I don't think I even need to say that, do I?

    Okay, so instead may I ask you something? How do you decide what you're going to read next? Is it total whim, whatever strikes your fancy at that moment? It's just that I so LOVE the incredible diversity of what you read. And somehow, such an enormous percentage of what you read turns out to be real winners.

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  12. I don't read many graphic novels, but this one definitely sounds tempting.

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  13. The artwork is definitely interesting, I love the way the rain is drawn. It's another book you have recently reviewed with a stunning cover.

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  14. I like quiet and subtle but I have to be in that mood. This books sounds cool and love the art work too.

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  15. She: I like the sneak peak! And yes, it is time to start :P There are so many awesome comics out there.

    Debi: Normally I make a pile for each month (based on my challenges/my current whims/recent recommendations), and then read them either in the order they're piled or according to my mood :P

    Carol: I hope you'll give them a try sometime!

    Rhinoa: Yes, the rain was wonderful! And the clouds too. I just love her drawing style.

    Violet: Yeah, me too. But when I am, I love it :)

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  16. I'm trying to find the time to get back to GNs. I just ordered French Milk, and I'll put this one on my list too. I love the artwork.

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  17. Beth F: I've heard nothing but good things about French Milk. It's on my list too :)

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  18. Love the artwork. It's much more expressive than regular graphic novels lately!

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  19. Great review, as usual, and I love the fact that you posted the panels. I have to add French Milk to my TBR list.

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  20. this is not something i'd usually pick up, but it does sound really good.
    the artwork is great.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  21. Ladytink: The more I explore the medium, the more I find unique art!

    Gavin: If you get to it before I do, I bet you'll make me bump it up the list :)

    Naida: It is, and the story is just as great, I promise.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.