From Publishers Weekly
The first graphic novel written by The Colbert Report
's Eichler is a light comedy about racism, with a hint of retooled movie proposal about it. It concerns a pair of half-brothers—square family man Tim Johnston and a spaced-out, trepanned loose cannon who calls himself Free—whose inheritance of their father's museum of curiosities includes the preserved, stuffed body of an African man in a loincloth and bone necklace, holding the remnants of a spear. Naturally, they want to get rid of the Warrior, as Tim prefers to call him—but getting rid of human remains turns out not to be as easy as driving them to a museum. Naturally, all kinds of uncomfortable associations about race and history burble up. Naturally, hijinks ensue. Bertozzi's artwork—a slightly cruder, much less detailed variation on the look of his graphic novel The Salon
—unobtrusively whisks the story along; there's also a nuttier, bolder style for a series of dream sequences in which the Warrior becomes the focal point for all of Tim's anxieties. Even when the plot seems a little too formulaic (will
everyone learn something by the end?), Eichler's crisp, snappy dialogue keeps it percolating. (Sept.)
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Tim, a health-care administrator, is struggling to get along. He’s determined not to be the kind of father his father was, and he provides his wife and daughter with the kind of stability that wasn’t available to him. When Tim’s father dies, Tim is left to find his half-brother Free, an ex-hippie still living a hippie lifestyle, and to settle his father’s estate. While rummaging through his father’s things, Tim comes across “the Savage,” a life-size statue of an African that used to frighten him when he was a child. Tim is intent on donating the statue to a museum, but his plans go awry when he learns that the statue is really a taxidermically treated African man. His efforts also bring closure to his relationship with Free. Eichler has provided a thought-provoking morality play that Bertozzi realizes in claustrophobic, effectively colored illustrations that echo Tim’s confusion. Not to be missed. --Stephen Weiner