Modern Myths (modernmyths) wrote,
Modern Myths

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Review: Super Spy by Matt Kindt

I picked up Matt Kindt's graphic novel Super Spy at the Top Shelf booth at SPX last month and I'm really glad I did. 

Super Spy by Matt Kindt

The book tells the story of a number of spies in Europe during World War II.  It starts as a collection of seemingly-unrelated vignettes, each about ten to twenty pages long.  As the book progresses we see some of the stories begin to intersect.  A secondary character in one vignette becomes the protagonist in another, for example, or the events of one story are shown from a different perspective.  By the end of the book, the stories have been tied together tightly into a web of lies, spies, and intrigue with a solid, captivating narrative and an ensemble cast of interesting characters.

The humanity of the characters is really the most shining aspect of the book.  Each of the spies has his or her own story, their own life before the war and motivations for becoming a spook.  Watching them play off of one-another as the narrative unfolds is fascinating.

Kindt's art is fantastic.  The simple-yet-gorgeous brushwork and limited color-palette simultaneously evince a sense of fantasy and of gritty desperation, not unlike the feeling of old WWII adventure movies, such as Casablanca.  The style also changes from chapter to chapter, to emphasize the tone of a given vignette.  If I had one critique it would have simply been that I wished Kindt had done more to visually differentiate the characters.  The book has a fairly large cast of characters, many of whom are never given names; keeping track of them was sometimes difficult for me, though given the vignette-driven style of the narrative it rarely made the book less enjoyable.

Ultimately I found this book to be a real treasure.  The innovative story-structure and enchanting characters, as well as the delightful art made it very hard to put down.  Definitely recommended.

-Mike I.
Tags: mike i, reviews, staff picks
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