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|Slow Storm by Danica NovgorodoffRequirements:
CBR Reader, 117 MB.Overview:
A firefighter in rural Kentucky, Ursa searches for her place in life, struggling to meet her own expectations. When a tornado hits her town, the ensuing chaos brings her world into sharp focus, somehow making everything clearer, and Ursa finds that she just can’t stomach the way her life is going. It is then that she meets Rafi, an illegal immigrant whose life isn’t going the way he’d pictured it either. Their encounter is the catalyst for Ursa and Rafi, who take different roads to the realization that wanting your life to change isn’t enough to make it happen.
Slow Storm stands apart as a graphic novel with its literary heart and charged, atmospheric watercolor and ink artwork. The storm builds around the characters and inside them, and moments of violence and tenderness suddenly crack like lightning. With Slow Storm, Danica Novgorodoff takes her place as a talent to be reckoned with in the literary world.Slow Storm
Danica Novgorodoff writer, artist, letterer, coverDownload Instructions:
Published by First Second Books, 2008.
Reviewed by Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH.
Grade 10 Up. Ursa and her brother, both Kentucky firefighters, respond to reports of a burning horse barn in the aftermath of a fierce tornado. Frustrated by his constant jibes, Ursa traps him in the burning building, but, when he escapes, he unexpectedly blames it on Rafi, the undocumented Mexican immigrant who was living and working in the loft. Using somber watercolors, the artist works hard to create a sense of place, periodically breaking up the already slow-paced story with full-page evocations of the vast, tumultuous skies and the hills of Kentucky and Mexico. The line work is rough and has a certain degree of shapelessness, which works well with the nature scenes and the watercolors themselves, but which makes the characters occasionally seem clumsy. Where it works exceptionally well, however, is in the depiction of Ursa's rage-induced visions and the magical realism of Rafi's journey to the U.S., where policemen ride pigs and he has to climb over St. Peter's Gate to cross the border. Also compelling are the author's tone-clear rendition of Rafi's broken English and the strangeness of the protagonists' decisions. The atmospheric tone of the medium and the setting, combined with the weirdness of the characters' actions and their hallucinatory impressions, creates a curious, open-ended, and emotional reading experience.
A Marvelous Graphic Novel, Reviewed by Satia Renee "Satia Renee" (Altanta GA USA) September 24, 2008
Slow Storm by Danica Novgorodoff is perhaps one of the most ambitious graphic novels I've read in a while. The story is a simple one of a firefighter who saves the life of an illegal immigrant. However, what happens in one night and through small gestures is profound. The language is sometimes brutal then surprisingly shifts into poetic beauty in the time it takes to move from one panel to the next. The characters, their circumstances, though seemingly insignificant, sink beneath the skin until the reader can't help but have some compassion. And the story lingers in the sort of haunting way that one hopes a story will do long after the book has been left behind.
The images, with the soft watercolor washes of pastels, are evocative, especially the landscapes. Novgorodoff's confidence in her graphic abilities is evident as whole pages of panels go by without any text. And remarkably, this simple story that only lasts a few hours, not including some flashback details leading up to the encounter and one night, is dense with emotional significance, delineated wonderfully in the drawings.
Most remarkable of all, however, is that Novgorodoff has created a graphic novel that is completely interdependent. Without the words, though few and far between at times, the visuals would have less meaning. Likewise, the words, without the images, would simply read like an incomplete poem. By marrying the two together--graphic and novel--Novgorodoff has proven herself a mistress of this form and hopefully she will continue to add her voice and vision to more such efforts.
Slow Storm -- http://novafile.com/mkv809gpyc4t
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