The second volume in Giardino's poignant graphic narrative of growing up under Communist rule in postwar Prague lives up to the clean elegance of its first (rev. 5/1/97). Giardino's beautiful background art of Prague architecture contrasts with the sad tale in the foreground: a young man's tortured adolescence made worse by having his father imprisoned as an enemy of the state. The rush of events, both personal and political, flash by in near-wordless frames: Jonas, kicked out of school, gets a job in construction; Stalin dies; Jonas finds better work in a bookstore; the Czech ministry renews its campaign against counter-revolutionaries. The humanity of everyday Czechs is apparent in the sympathetic faces drawn with perfection by Giardino, from the beery plumber, Slavek, to the kindly bookstore owner, Pinkel. Jonas's self-pity reveals itself when he falls for a pretty girl, herself part of a group of young people who read forbidden books for sheer ""mental survival."" Visually compelling and historically resonant, Giardino's full-color narrative is evolving into a masterwork of its kind.