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POETRY COMICS by Grant Snider Kirkus Star


by Grant Snider ; illustrated by Grant Snider

Pub Date: March 26th, 2024
ISBN: 9781797219653
Publisher: Chronicle Books

In a wryly introspective vein, a cartoonist offers a four-season round of illustrated observations on topics as varied as clouds, school, and the search for a perfect pumpkin.

“I want to put down / on paper the feeling / of fresh possibilities,” Snider writes in his “Spring” section. With reflections on the tricky art of writing poems serving as a thematic refrain, he goes on in a seasonal cycle to explorations of nature (“How do the birds / decide where / to alight?”), indoor activities (“In wool socks on thick carpet / I am MR. ELECTRIC”), and common experiences, from loading up a gigantic backpack with new books for the first day of school to waiting…and waiting…and waiting for a bus in the rain. He also invites readers to consider broad ideas, such as the rewards of practicing and the notion that failure can lead to the realization that “I’m still a work in progress.” Snider writes mostly in free verse but does break into rhyme now and then for the odd sonic grace note. Though he identifies only one entry as an actual haiku, his tersely expressed thoughts evoke that form throughout. His art is commensurately spare, with depictions of slender, dot-eyed, olive-skinned figures, generally solitary and of indeterminate age, posing balletically in, mostly, squared-off sequential panels making up mini-narratives of one to three pages.

Personal but personable, too, with glints of quiet humor.

(Graphic poetry. 10-13)