cover image The Gifted: Books 1 & 2

The Gifted: Books 1 & 2

Damian A. Wassel and Nathan C. Gooden. Creative Mind Energy, $19.95 (174p) ISBN 978-1-939424-12-9

A lone wolf faces off against man (hunters) and nature (hunger) in this nearly wordless graphic novel told from the animal’s point of view without anthropomorphizing its protagonist. Remarkably naturalistic in its design, Gooden’s art avoids cartoon clichés, with animals true-to-life in design and behavior. Mostly black-and-white, the art uses black and gray dynamic shapes to visually drive the narrative forward, skillfully merging with Wassel’s story, requiring virtually no dialogue. Bold black sound effects and the sparse dialogue of the hunters (expressed simply in the phonetic sounds the wolf hears) narrate the story. The starkness of Gooden’s palette is powerfully punctuated with a sparse use of brilliant color that leads to a an epiphany for the wounded, dying wolf. Morally enigmatic and deserving of repeat readings, this primal fable of power and evolution is a dexterous balance of action-adventure and thought-piece. (Booklife)