GRAPHIC NOVELS

Frogcatchers

Gallery 13: S. & S. Sept. 2019. 112p. ISBN 9781982107376. $22.99; ebk. ISBN 9781982107390. Rated: Teen+. literary
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A man dreams of a small boy hunting for frogs in a shallow creek, then awakens in a hotel room with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. Someone has pinned a dead frog to the door of the room beside his. The hotel is surrounded by water, seemingly inescapable and abandoned save for a small boy who drags the man into the basement and hints that they are in terrible danger from a malicious enemy called the Frog King. If Lemire’s (Gideon Falls. Vol. 2: Original Sins) sketchy illustration style seems simple at first glance, a close reading reveals that he’s actually purposefully creating a sense of fragility that matches his characters’ mental states, as they search for meaning in their mysterious new home.
VERDICT Readers familiar with the themes that the prolific Lemire routinely explores might find the twists and turns here a tad predictable, but the author tells his story with such passion and empathy for his characters that it’s hard not to get swept up and genuinely moved by the ending nonetheless. [Previewed in Ingrid Bohnenkamp’s Graphic Novels Spotlight, “Mass Appeal,” LJ 6/19.]

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