What the flying monkeys did I read?
This whacked-out beautiful piece of art is a testament to the fact we can have something for everyone and everyone for something. This graphic novel named A Radical Shift of Gravity boils down to one small but oh so important theme: Humanity’s struggle to survive. It is gorgeously done, and captures the cycle of life, death, and a combination of the two. Everything unfolds on the pages with style. It is organized and chaotic all at once. The story flows, but is constantly jumping between then, now, tomorrow, and sometimes all at once.
Nick Tapalansky imagines, and Kate Glasheen illustrates, what Earth will be like in the slightly distant future. What happens when Earth does a hiccup and lets a piece of reality float away? Or more accurately lets humans float away? People either adapt, a few take their lives and all cling onto something desperately. Whether it is the past, present, the future or a tether to the ground, life goes on. Glasheen’s has illustrations that both are ugly and lovely. My favorite part is when two characters are fighting and the sheer anger erupts off their faces. UPCOMING SPOILER: My second favorite is when two other characters find a not so empty house, and the “grave” that was created around a skeleton. The representation of the story, themes and these people is beyond powerful.
Yet, in the middle of all this is a man (a reporter, husband, father); a woman (an artist, wife, mother) and a child (a girl, precocious, independent and in the end, the future). Between him trying to get a story, deal with loss and trying to keep his daughter safe, values are reevaluated, right and wrong questioned and love blooms. We try to find ways to stop the Earth from having another “shift” but it always keeps changing. And in that second shift, it really comes to a head. Who is right? Who is wrong? And is the answer both?
Complicated, sophisticated and even a bit naïve, the reality of what we have inflicted on the Earth, what it did to us and when does the past need to stay in the past and the future grabbed unfolds before our eyes.