Graphic Novel Review: Celestia by Manuele Fior

Celestia by Manuele Fior. Translated by Jamie Richards. Fantagraphics, 2021. 9781683964384.

There was a great invasion. Some took refuge on Celestia, a small man-made island, a place with an economy built on trading where masked parties seem the norm. It’s also a place the rest of the world seems to have forgotten (if it’s out there at all). Local bad boy Pierrot survives there as do others, including his father, Dr. Vivaldi, an odd guy with a pet blackbird who is putting together a team of telepaths. Pierrot’s telepathic friend Dora is soon on the run from Vivaldi and his team, and she needs Pierrot’s help heading for the mainland where, well, things get stranger. It all feels very dreamlike, and reminds me of nothing so much as Susanna Clarke’s Piraesi and a great episode of something like The Outer Limits. Fior’s art is always beautiful, and the soft, unshaded colors help give this graphic novel a dreamlike sense that supports the narrative. Worth reading and then immediately rereading.


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