Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!
I’ve been lax in explaining that this week I’ve worked to feature some indie artists and indie books, but today, I will not be lax in telling you that because I just did!
I met Jag Lall at this past C2E2. He attended one of our panels, and on my may out, he introduced himself to me and handed me a couple of his books: 1400 and Ignorance Likes Company. It took me a while to get to them, but I feel they are a great way to end a week about indie comics.
Title: 1400 and Death’s Door: Ignorance Likes Company
Author: Jag Lall
Publisher: WRITERSWORLD (2016)
Age Rating: 13+
Jag Lall is an exceptional artist with a lean to social justice. If you want to learn more about his art or contact him directly, click here.
He is also on Twitter @jaglallart
The first thing I will say about these Jag Lall comics is that it is true that you cannot judge a book by its cover. The cover of 1400 shows a woman meditating while an elephant and a group of men with swords come at her. The cover is monochromatic red with white lettering. Looking at that cover, featured above, you might no be able to tell that this book tackles rape and the victim mentality. It’s a very powerful book, and the pacing is great, not slowed down by the ads found in many big company comics. The book works to help victims of rape and sexual abuse understand that their voice and speaking out against such atrocities is paramount in stopping the cycle.
The second book, Death’s Door: Ignorance Likes Company, has a very busy cover that makes it difficult to grasp the concept of the book, but open it up, and it quickly informs you that it is a story about racism. The art in this book is harsh: thick, chunky brush strokes at times have the reader wondering what’s going on, but the mysteries do not last long, and we quickly realize the power of the story. Lall uses much more color in Death’s Door compared to 1400, and if you didn’t know better, you might think that these two books were created by different artists. I like that about the books. Jag Lall has the unique ability to shape his art for the story. Based on the themes of the two books, I would have liked the art in 1400 to be a bit more harsh overall, the art is well done, and the story well delivered.
I put these books at an age range of 13+. The subject matter is mature, but the way in which Jag Lall tells the story, it is not overly graphic. This is important. This book can be used in middle school or high school to show the power of voice and reason. We need to stand up and be vocal about abuse and racism in all ways. Jag Lall helps us do that. These books are not long; it does not take Lall 80 pages to get to the point. They are just the right length to engage and inspire students to thoughts and hopefully positive actions.
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