More of a graphic novella than a graphic novel, Foodboy is the kind of book that can and should be absorbed in one sitting. It follows protagonist Gary on a journey - a short, purposeful walk of recollection for the sake of an old friend. The start and the end of the journey are dealt with at the relevant sections of the story, but what lies between is a swirling vortex of time and memory, as Gary recalls a friendship that starts normally but changes dramatically as we read.
Set in deepest Wales, with its valleys, reservoirs and woods, there's a dark foreboding feel to Swain's charcoal art. There's also a cinematic sweep to her images, the plot calling for minimum dialogue and plenty of eerie angles. Her characters are more simplistic though, with all-too necessary hairstyle changes to help differentiate between characters, all of whom seem to have round, small-featured and somewhat scrunched up faces.
Although short, the book is unhurried and worth spending time with. It's an interesting but complex read that will appeal to those who like dark, human, literate short stories, told in a compelling and visual way.
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