Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 211

Two Brothers

by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (after Milton Hatoum)
Genre: family history, dysfunction
232 pages
ISBN: 1616558563 (Amazon)

Two Brothers is foremost a book to be laid on a coffee table so that guests will have something astounding with which to occupy themselves while you futz around in the kitchen preparing exotic teas and fancy adult beverages. It is a work of beauty. Dark and grueling, yes, but beautiful for all that. Bá has always held a little dynamo of the kind of expressive shadowed minimalism that makes Mike Mignola's art the most magnificent stuff to ever grace the earth, and the choice to publish Two Brothers without colour forces that to be on full display. There were pages I stared at overlong just trying to understand how they were accomplished.

As for story, Two Brothers won't likely have you asking existential questions about faith and purpose and meaning. It is, instead, pretty firmly rooted in the pre-20th century family of novels dedicated to charting the collapse of a family or dynasty. From its first pages we know where things are headed and our goal is only to lend an ear while the fall of the house of Halim is laid out like funeral clothes, that we too might mourn the passing of a well-meant but ultimately self-destructively selfish family.

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