cover image The Sacrifice of Darkness

The Sacrifice of Darkness

Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby. Archaia, $24.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-68415-624-5

Based on a short story by Gay (Hunger), this graphic adaptation, co-scripted with Oliver and illustrated with Kirby’s gorgeously hued art, spins an Afrofuturistic fable and a flexible allegory that echoes multiple oppression narratives. Joshua Hightower is the son of Hiram Hightower, a third-generation Flareon miner, whose double shifts underground left him so desperate for light that he flew an airship into the sun, extinguishing it for years. As a result, Joshua and his mother are shunned by society, except for the open-minded young Claire. Joshua and Claire’s schoolyard friendship and eventual love story unfolds alongside flashbacks to Hiram’s courting of Mara, a girl from a wealthy, disapproving family. The town’s governing body tries in vain to restore sunlight, growing increasingly thirsty for Hightower sacrifice. Joshua and Claire, meanwhile, hope for a dual miracle: a baby and a return to light. With help from a few discoveries of their own using “precious” Flareon dust, they begin to build a more equitable world. Kirby’s sublime drawings of clapboard buildings and wide streets give the town a Wild West feel. And though the narrative achieves a mythical vibe, the parable quality occasionally slips into vagueness. Even so, the glowing hope within this tale will be welcome to readers in dark times. [em](Oct.) [/em]