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Black Eyes

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By Claire Connelly

A graphic novel that revolves around a lone warrior, cursed by his first victim. Creator Claire Connelly tells a story through images as a man, seemingly cowardly in the beginning, faces off against a wild beast – only to become cursed with the “black eyes” that gave the animal strange powers.

It becomes a curse in the sense that once these powers are obtained this nameless wanderer becomes a target for other would be warriors. He’s now somewhat of a legend, but throughout the story we find out that this “power” comes with a costly fate.

The artwork style throughout by Connelly is kept black and white with a sketched approach to each panel. A scene that plays with the panels quite well comes from the first part of the story, before the wanderer ends up in the fight of his life, as we see the character progress through the page in a series of panels all lay out over a black background. You can see in the fourth panel a worried look in his eyes as he spots the creature. Once the creature spots him however we get a scene reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z, as the animal begins to conjure up powers and go to some Super Saiyan type state before running after the man from nowhere. Imagine Goku going SS3 and just charging after you because you looked at him funny… you’d probably run too… right?

The transformation of the creature, a wild boar, creates a surreal take on the story right from the get-go. The story is told only through artwork throughout, forcing the reader to possibly piece together their own plot – maybe this boar did something to the man’s family? When the boar transforms he obtains extra eyes and a crazy aura around him. Something Connelly also does is have the creature quadruple in size, as he takes up most of the page in his chase of the wanderer. When it comes down to it though it’s made clear the man has nowhere to run (or hide) and has no other choice but to face the beast…

Claire Connelly creates a grand tale through images alone. The lone warrior vibe of the story, and especially the character’s appearance in the beginning, gives a Samurai Jack feel to the story as well (imagine Jack going Super Saiyan… how cool would that be?!). This man is in for the fight of his life… but will it all be worth it in the end?

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