GRAPHIC NOVELS

A Radical Shift of Gravity

Top Shelf: IDW. Apr. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9781603094580. pap. $29.99. Rated: Teen+. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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This ingeniously structured story from writer Tapalansky (Cast No Shadow) and artist Glasheen (Bandage: A Diary of Sorts) darts back and forth across several decades to explore one man’s desperation to keep his family safe. After Earth’s gravity is mysteriously reduced by 16.5 percent, most people enjoy the newfound freedom they find, floating around. But freelance journalist Noah Hall is skeptical of humanity’s speedy adaptation to its new circumstances, especially after a scientist, Isolde Spedmore, informs him that further gravitational shifts are imminent and that moving humanity off-world is the only way to avoid mass extinction. Years later, Noah and his daughter meet a group of researchers convinced that the solution lies at the center of Earth; decades after that, father and daughter find themselves estranged after she decides to join Spedmore in space. Tapalansky and Glasheen weave storylines and time frames together for maximum impact, juxtaposing scenes depicting love and loss, best-laid plans and tragic outcomes, again and again, to highlight Noah’s struggle to accept his own limitations in a rapidly changing world.
VERDICT A remarkably moving parable that captures the particular uncertainty of 21st-century life.

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