Monday, October 12, 2015

Trees, Vol. 1: In Shadow by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard

Published: February 11th, 2015
Publisher: Image Comics
Age Group: 16+
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Ten years after they landed. All over the world. And they did nothing, standing on the surface of the Earth like trees, exerting their silent pressure on the world, as if there were no-one here and nothing under foot. Ten years since we learned that there is intelligent life in the universe, but that they did not recognize us as intelligent or alive.

Trees looks at a near-future world where life goes on in the shadows of the Trees: in China, where a young painter arrives in the “special cultural zone” of a city under a Tree; in Italy, where a young woman under the menacing protection of a fascist gang meets an old man who wants to teach her terrible skills; and in Svalbard, where a research team is discovering, by accident, that the Trees may not be dormant after all, and the awful threat they truly represent.

My thoughts on it:
This graphic novel ended up surprising me, I bought it because I thought the cover art was so beautiful, and it has been sitting on my shelf for the past six months, unread and sad. So, this past week, when I was going to be on a bus for hours, I decided to pick it up, and it was one of the best reading decisions I've made this year, because this is firmly planted on my favourite books of 2015 list, for sure. This comic centers around an array of characters around the world, following them 10 years after big metal tube type things have landed on earth, these tubes are called Trees, and they are alien. You follow different characters in their everyday life and discover how their lives and the world has changed.

My favourite storyline was the one set in the  "special cultural zone" in China, which is a place filled with artists, it is also a place where everyone lives openly, wether you're straight, gay, transgender, or anything else, it is a community where everyone is who they want to be. I thought is was so great to follow Tian Changlei, a young artist on his way to self discovery and acceptance of himself. I really enjoyed the other stories as well, but the one set in China is the one that will stay with me I think.

Overall, the story is great, but is is quite a political graphic novel, so if you don't enjoy that, this might not be for you, but I believe that there is something for everyone in this book. It is so well done, the plot, the narration style and the art, make this a joy to read. It does have some adult content, so if you don't feel comfortable with that or if you are younger then I might think twice before reading this. But, if you ignore that fact then this is an amazing graphic novel in my opinion, and a good place to start if you are just now getting into comics.

Have you read Trees? If so, what did you think of it? I would love to hear your thoughts on it, so leave a comment below and we can chat about it ♥

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