Ye by Guilherme Petreca is one of those metaphor books where you sometimes can miss the metaphor if you are looking too closely at the literal aspect of things. It is also something you might read too much into if you are not careful. Therefore, this is what I like to call “An Experience Book.” You must read it to find what speaks to you. Is it a metaphor for fear, anger, depression? Is it about growing, living, life? Or is it about a kid who cannot speak, except for one word that give him his name, Ye, and travels to find a witch and literally fights the Colorless King that brings sickness and madness to people? Is it about a shanghaied accordion playing husband (while his wife dances) who is now the ships cook, a drunken clown who really needs to layoff the booze (but knows a neat trick with it) and a witch who looks like your favorite granny?Brazi
Obviously, this is not a Western graphic novel, due to some imagery (not in English signs) and some words used by characters, but still relatable regardless your background. Most likely based on folk lore and fairy tales, classic stories (I saw a hint of the Odyssey) and modern ideals. While the aged 10 to 14-year-old could read, it is almost an adult book. There is a lot going on that the younger reader might not pick up or would more likely just see the literal.
The main part of the story is about Ye. He is a young man who is touched/marked by the Colorless King (this includes illness, anger, madness and a “deformity” physical or mental, and literally in some way, marked on the skin). He must find, Miranda, a witch who has also been touched. Of course, there are dangers (the Colorless Wars left their mark; there are pirates and bandits) but also friends. Can Ye defeat the Colorless King? The main issue for some people will be there is little text/dialogue. And when there is some, it is all one sided as Ye can only say the word Ye and make gestures. This makes the reader read the illustrations to get other parts of the story. One piece of the story might be awkward as the story starts in the middle and then jumps to the beginning, repeating itself later.
The art also can be a hit or miss. They are sparsely detailed in some areas, crowded in others. But fits what is needed to be said. There are minimal or awkward coloring. Browns, greys, black and white are most heavily used. You can judge this book’s art by the cover.