Graphic Novel Review: Summer Fires by Giulia Sagramola

Summer Fires by Giulia Sagramola. Translated by Brahm Revel. Dark Horse, 2022. 9781506726717. 208pp.

The books opens on a young woman, Rachel, trying to learn to drive a car with a manual transmission in a small Italian town’s winding streets. All does not go well between her and her dad, but that feels normal.

Rachel and her friends hang out on a hill overlooking town, over the summer, getting stoned and drinking a bit. Her younger sister Sabrina wants to go to prom but their protective dad won’t let her. A girl Rachel knows is pregnant. Someone starts texting Rachel anonymously, calling her a slut. Her friend Stef says he doesn’t know who it is. A fire burns on the hill above town.

As the months tick by Rachel and Stef seem to be getting closer. Or maybe not? And there’s tension between Rachel and Sabrina as Rachel figures out what her younger sister has been up to.

I’m not sure if this is a graphic novel for teens or not, but adults who spent an aimless summer where nothing happened yet everything happened, this will totally take them back. I love the sketchiness of Sagramola’s black lines, and the way she uses those blacks with a different color each month of the summer is beautiful.


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