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The Broadcast Paperback – October 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Orson Welles's famous War of the Worlds radio program serves as the backdrop for a melodrama about star-crossed lovers, class warfare, and racial tensions in the Depression-era Midwest. Twenty-year-old Gavin wants to propose to his young love interest, Kimberly, but needs her stern father's approval to do so. Meanwhile his father, Dawson, plays benefactor to starving farmer Jacob, and a black stranger drifts into town. These diverse characters are thrown together by Welles's broadcast, which scares them into taking refuge in a storm cellar. Newcomer Hobbs works hard not to oversell the drama, using the radio program as a catalyst rather than the driver of the plot, focusing on the tensions within the group, which are only heightened when a pair of dead bodies are discovered, and Dawson does not return from a trip to gather firewood. Hobbs works hard to endow even his antagonists with a measure of sympathy. He largely succeeds, elevating melodrama into an intriguing character study of different personalities under pressure. Tuazon's (Elk's Run; Tumor) art is pleasant, relying on gray wash over sketchy ink lines to create expressive body language and a loose, impressionistic feel that adds to the ominous mood. (Nov.)
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From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up—Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds" broadcast provides a spooky backdrop for this dramatic tale. During a storm, an Indiana town loses power, and the residents never find out that the alien invasion in New York and New Jersey is not real. In their efforts to survive the storm and the coming disaster, four of the town's families clash in unexpected ways. The characters are vivid and complex, and the writing and plotting are excellent: the author deftly cuts between different characters throughout the frantic night. The drawings are delicate and expressive, but appear unfinished. They are small and unclear, drawn with wavy, fine lines. At times it is hard to recognize characters, or to tell them apart. This is a gripping and original story, and it is unfortunate that the illustrations don't do more to support it.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Top Customer Reviews
The art is sparse, black and white, with some panels appearing as mere sketches - but never at the expense of the story, and giving it the feel of another horror story set on a farm - Night of the Living Dead. Hobbs does an excellent job of creating distinct characters that you instantly identify with - all struggling to make their case on why the gruff Mr. Shrader should allow them to take refuge on his farm (there's limited space, after all). Adding another layer of suspense is the arrival of a mysterious wanderer, Marvin, who may-or-may-not be a murderer. We also take brief interludes to check in on Welles in New York, where the police and the producers debate on whether to cancel the ruse over public safety concerns.
I am purposely keeping the plot details vague, because half of the fun of this work is going along with the twists Hobbs interjects. This is a fun story, with Tuazon nailing the creepy landscape of rural Halloween. I wish I could paste the first page in this review, because those four panels leave little doubt this will be a fun Halloween throwback.
I've read The Broadcast twice over, and recommended it to my local comic shop (it sold out in a week). I plan on making it a new Halloween tradition.
Give this one a try - you won't be disappointed.