Graphic Novel Review: A Glance Backward

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Review by Nolan P. Smith

Staff Reporter

(Victor Valley)– Joey is an eleven-year-old boy in for the journey of his life. Whisked away to a fantastical land full of delight and danger, he is faced with the harsh reality of the world, and in the end, faces what it means to grow up from a kid to an adult. This is the premise of A Glance Backward- and let me say, this is a must read book.

From Magnetic Press, who is becoming one of my favorite publishers, A Glance Backward is a story that pulls no punches and leaves you in awe by the last page. Written by Pierre Paquet with art by Tony Sandoval, this is a story that hits close to home, for me at least. By the end of the book, I realized what it all meant, and it reminded me of that time in my own life. Pulled from the same moment that the author experienced in his own life, you can feel the raw emotions here. Pacquet has penned an amazing story- one full of fantastical worlds but more important than that, grounded in the emotions we know all too well as human beings.

Sandoval creates a visual landscape that amazes at every page. Beautifully crafted with watercolors, the lands that young Joey comes across, the characters and monsters, all leap off the page. The worlds go from extremely vibrant to engulfed in darkness, the art is some of the best I have seen in a graphic novel. He makes the emotions visual- a hard task to do, but he does so masterfully.

I had no idea what to expect from this book, but I am glad I read it. A Glance Backward just might be one of the most important graphic novels released this year. It’s a story that needed to be told, and honestly, needs to be read. Paquet and Sandoval have created a piece of work here that I think most adults can relate to- dealing with the all too human emotions that we battle with daily. This book caught me by surprise, and should be on every “Top 10” list for the year.

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