A heat wave and a drought spark more multi-fronted eco-activism in this sequel to Luz Sees the Light (2011).
Blasting sun, weeks without rain, scheduled brownouts and water rationing have taken their toll on Petroville and the dying community gardens in Friendship Park. As if that's not bad enough, wilted young Luz discovers to her shock that with the new Top Cola plant sucking up groundwater, the once-brimming Spring Pond outside of town has become only a mudhole. Everyone springs into action. Luz’s friends join her mother, her aged abuela and other adult allies to mount a protest campaign against Top Cola’s water use. Meanwhile, Luz helps neighbors set up rain barrels, hoses and a bathtub “mini-marsh” to filter graywater from local businesses for the gardens. At last a massive cloudburst and Top Cola’s promise to restore the pond bring sweet relief. It's plainly purposeful, as seen in dialogue (“Let’s look for other cases of water rights abuses around the world”; “Carbon footprint!”) and a concluding minifeature in which Luz helps a neighbor xeriscape a turf lawn. It's not just a lesson, though. The episode is fleshed out not only with character interaction and comedic side play, but in Dávila’s simply drawn, monochrome blue panels, in which figures pose and expostulate with theatrical energy.
Like its predecessor, more a refreshingly animated exercise in building community and awareness than a specific procedural guide for going green. (Graphic novel. 8-10)