Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 75

Children Of The Sea

by Daisuke Igarashi
Genre notes: YA, cosmic, oceanography
5 vols
ISBN: 1421529149 (Amazon)

For my 75th daily rec, I wanted to do something special. I picked Children Of The Sea because it's one of my favourite comics works. I haven't rebuilt my Top 100 graphic novels of all time list in many years, but if I were to rebuild it today, Igarashi's book would very likely sit in the 1-10 range. It's an amazing work for those with the eyes to see it.

So here's something: I feel in greater connection to nature when reading Children Of The Sea than when actually out in nature itself.

Igarashi's work is specially known for his illustrations and treatment of the natural world. He is lushly reverent but his style is atypical, meaning it's difficult for a lot of readers to see the allure. He invokes wonder and mystery and makes that world holy.

One of the things I thought about last time I reread the short series was that as an artist par excellence, his every choice of line is intentional. He succinctly takes the chaos and scattered beauty of nature and concatenates it into a specific image, crafting a kind of paragon nature. This is why I may feel more connection to the natural in reading his works than when in nature itself. He conveys the grandeur and the majesty without the distraction of chaos.

(Or more accurately, without the distracting appearance of chaos. Think of your own hypothetical photos of Yosemite vs those taken by Ansel Adams. In reality we know that everything is governed by a towering compilation of causes and effects, but it's all just too complicated, so we call it chaos to make ourselves feel better, taking madness and submitting it under the thumb of taxonomy.)

I wanted to mention Children Of The Sea in this post simply because the books mean so much to me. Every time I read them, they impresses upon me more and more a sense of divine glory. I may see creation's majesty more in Igarashi's books than by any other venue. I'm averse to speaking in these terms because they are always either ineffectual at communicating or are baldly hyperbolic, but I find in Children Of The Sea this cascade of Sacred moments that I cannot get away from.

To further dive into terrible, deeply exaggerated cliche, it is in these five volumes that I find closest experience to the idea of Touching The Face Of God. In reading Igarashi, I feel as though I am Moses (for the literary or religious among you), hidden in the cleft, witnessing not God himself but instead the contrail of God's glory. Nothing else brings me as close.

And the great tragedy is that the book is so unique in its story and art that I rarely find myself able to recommend it because I know how rarely it appeals to anyone. And what is worse than saying that you beheld God's awestriking majesty, pointing someone else to it, and them having seen the exact same thing as you, saying, "Huh, he's not a very good artist, is he?"

In any case, these first images are a six-page sequence of the beginning of a rainfall and its transition to clear skies. I follow this with some scattered images of sea life.

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Good Ok Bad features reviews of comics, graphic novels, manga, et cetera using a rare and auspicious three-star rating system. Point systems are notoriously fiddly, so here it's been pared down to three simple possibilities:

3 Stars = Good
2 Stars = Ok
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