That Salty Air

Created by: Tom Sievert

ISBN: 1603090053 (Amazon)

Pages: 112

That Salty Air

I liked That Salty Air. I did. The art is simplistic but fulfills its function with a rather spare kind of beauty, propelling this small book’s small story. And while the art did its job, mostly what I liked was Sievert’s evocation of that unique flavour and weight that air only exhibits in close proximity to the ocean. I passed by my old beachfront home last Father’s Day as we drove home south along PCH. Through a flood of memories, the thing that stood out most—the thing I most missed—was waking up each morning in that recumbent salt air. The sounds of waves breaking was a close second, but that salty air will always be cherished by me above all other aspects of beach living.

That Salty Air

The unfolding of That Salty Air‘s tale of man versus nature, of earthly suffering versus ultimate justice versus mercy, demonstrates a certain affection for the sea on author Tim Sievert’s part. It would be hyperbolic to say that the book proves his love for the sea and its life because part of being a great storyteller is the crafting of believable fiction. Still, I’d like to think that affection exists because it was so well realized.

That Salty Air

Earlier, when I said, “I liked That Salty Air—I did,” the overt implication would be that maybe I mightn’t have or shouldn’t have. And there’s something to that. The protagonist, Hugh, is a little bit hard to get behind. He appears at first to be something of a simpleton. He acts with the grace and intent of someone suffering a slight mental disorder. And while such protagonists can engender the support or interest of readers, Hugh does not. Partially because he is not given time enough before his transformation.

That Salty Air

Through catastrophe, Hugh moves abruptly from one-dimensional simpleton (though we later realize that he really isn’t suffering this kind of handicap) to one-dimensional personification of unswerving rage. The reader can detect motive, sure, but a little early character building could have made his transformation more powerful and more immediately essential to the story’s progress.

I liked That Salty Air. I did. I just wish I would have been given the tools to like it more than I did.

That Salty Air


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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I am Seth T. Hahne and these are my reviews.

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