Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Review: De:TALES

by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
Dark Horse, $14.95

De:TALES is the best comic I've read so far this year.

I've been impressed by twin brothers Moon & Ba's work before, but in De:TALES they raise the bar with a collection of short stories that, if there's any justice in this world, should bring them the recognition they richly deserve.

Grounded in the urban life of Sao Paulo with a touch of magical realism, the unrelated stories range the gammut from high concept--a friend is brought back from the dead to spend his birthday among the living; a young woman tells a complete stranger that he's too late to fall in love with her--to the quietly mundane. But even the seemingly mundane stories have a touch of magic in their lyrical simplicity, such as the final story in which a woman gets out of bed and lights a candle.

There is such a strong sense of life in these stories, about people who are happy, unhappy, satisfied, unsatisfied, in love, out of love, searching, longing, and content. These are stories about people and how they relate, or don't relate, to each other.

The art is attractive and fluid, with a strong grasp of storytelling. It's the kind of book that you can pick up, turn to a random page, and admire the art, from the linework to the layout.

Sometimes I worry about the state of comics; then I read a book like De:TALES, and my faith in the future of the medium is restored.

Rating: 4.5 (of 5)

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