This may be a book that’s better on the second reading.
In medias res is a dangerous trick to play on unsuspecting readers. In the first six pages of this graphic meta-goof on The Odyssey, our stick-figure hero, Zozimos, nearly drowns, gets lost in a jungle, is captured by golems and gets thrown in jail. The pace never really lets up over the 200 pages of the book, as he tries to find his way home to Sticatha. Readers may feel as though they’re flipping channels on a remote, and every channel is showing an action movie. There’s too much medias, too much res and not enough time spent developing the characters. Ford almost seems afraid to let them sit down and just talk. Some readers may need to page through the story a second time to realize that Zozimos is sort of charming, and a few turns of phrase are quite funny (“By Hades’ pajamas”). It would be easy, though, to get distracted by Zozimos’ many selfish actions and his refusal to listen to anyone else. Early in the book, King Marnox says, “The way I see it, everything that happened was your own fault for being a shortsighted jerk.” It’s hard to disagree. A few leisurely pauses here and there might have given readers more opportunity to sympathize with the main character.
A nifty concept that never really quite leaves the conceptual stage. (Graphic novel. 11-14)