Graphic Novel Review: Through a Life
Posted on July 9, 2019 at 9:00 am by Gene Ambaum
Through A Life by Tom Haugomat. Nobrow, 2018. 9781910620496. 184pp.
Nobrow’s books are always beautiful, but this one wowed me. Each two-page spread is a moment from a year in the life of a red-haired dude named Rodney, starting when he’s in the womb (1955) (in Ketchikan, Alaska), to an incubator (1956), then a crib (1957). With little variation, the left page is Rodney, looking out of wherever he is, and on the right is what he sees (usually in a window or something window-like). I loved it from the moment I saw the Star Trek posters on his wall (in high school), when he watched Planet of the Apes on TV, and then saw Alien in a theater (like I did, even though I was much younger than him when that happened). There’s personal and newsworthy tragedy woven in as Rodney’s interest in space pushes him to study it, and then enter NASA’s astronaut program. The drawings are understated, which somehow makes the dramatic moments more stunning. All use the same color palette to great effect and none of the people pictured have a face.
It’s simply spectacular, the kind of graphic novel that will take everyone by surprise.