Wolf Graphic Novel

Loss of a parent or a sibling is a very hard thing to quantify emotionally. Yes we can quantify textures including personal reflections or the stages which are clinically diagnosed. But we can never truly understand it on a person to person basis. In Rachel Ball’s Wolf Hugo is dealing with the loss of his beloved father, who was killed in a tragic accident. Hugo’s family move to a new house and set out to start afresh. Hugo is still stuck, he wants to see his father again and after seeing a screening of the Time Machine, sets out to build one. With the help of his new neighbour, he might just achieve that but at what cost…

Many other more creative and compelling voices than mine have written in praise of this work. I am not going to stand against them. Wolf is at its core a story about coping with loss. It is about how coping and connecting with those suffering with facets of loss is a journey, never completed. From the clever use of duality in the neighbour and Hugo. To the family dynamic after the fathers death, it all adds to quantifying emotional gravity. Constructing an understanding of the tenderness of familial connection in times of need.Wolf uses a soft pencil, to slightly shape images. These actually add to the tenderness of relationship. They also have devastating weight when the neighbour character is explored. Ball has achieve a rare thing. A visual poem. Its softness, hides its richness. This is its real skill. One that I am still in honesty, reeling from.

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