Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan marks my sixth and final book for the Graphic Novel Challenge. My reading list consisted of:
1. It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken- Seth
2. Absolute Sandman, Vol. 1- Neil Gaiman
3. Louis Riel: A Comic Biography by Chester Brown
4. Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi
5. Epileptic- David B
6. Exit Wounds- Rutu Modan
I'd like to say I ended the Graphic Novel Challenge on a higher note, but unfortunately Exit Wounds was my least favourite of the lot.
I'll start with the art work since most of my opinions in that area come down to personal preference. Though Modan uses red from time to time (as on the cover), the book is heavy on pastels. I don't like pastels. I feel like I should state some macho reason for this like "no self-respecting male likes pastels" but I assure you that's not it. They're just not dramatic enough. Even black and white seems bolder. Plus, while occasionally Modan plays with the lighting to indicate the time of day and so on, it's completely void of shading and shadows. Everything comes across as flat. The explosion on the cover is very misleading. The pastels, the uniform colouring, and the Tintin influenced simplicity, were not a good combination. It reminded me of the illustrations found on airplane emergency instructions.
But if the artwork was underwhelming at least it matched the story. Set in modern day Tel Aviv, it is the story of Koby Franco who sets out with a woman named Numi to learn whether or not an identified body, a suicide bombing victim, is really his estranged father. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's as anti-climactic as they come.
Looking at the graphic novels above, I was a little perplexed why I'd like Seth's book and not this one, when it too could be described as anti-climactic. The only thing I could come up with was that Seth didn't promise as much. I knew from the get go that it wasn't going to be heavy in the plot department, so I settled into it all nice and cozy like. With Modan's talk of suicide bombings and explosions on the cover, I felt like I'd been promised more than she ever delivered.