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Any Empire

by Nate Powell

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1228220,887 (2.91)4
"[A] group of small-town kids find themselves bound together by geography, boredom, and a string of mysterious turtle mutilations. Years later, with Army tanks rolling through the streets of their hometown, these young adults are forced to confront painful questions of privilege, duty, betrayal, and courage" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Just kinda disappointing really. Everything was just a touch flawed, and the combination of those flaws really sink this book. It's undoubtedly ambitious, but in this case it couldn't save the comic.

The art is very attractive, but is not clear enough. This means, for example, that the jarring juxtapositions (of small town life and war) don't work well. Similarly the characters aren't distinct, and the sense of location is poor. This all makes the plot hard to follow.

The actual comic-craft - the selection and pacing of panels - is off. The timing seems wrong, and the things that are shown in the panels seem slightly odd choices. Again, this just makes the story too much work to follow.

The dialogue is sparse, and I think perhaps is supposed to be naturalistic, but ends up sounding awkward. This part could have worked without changes, but with the confusion caused by the other flaws it didn't.

The plot itself is interesting, and the themes are worthwhile (if a little too worthy). But again problems with pacing, and the temporal jumps, and some unexpectedly unrealistic parts at the end... well, it just wasn't handled very well.

It's a shame, as I think there could have been a good comic lurking here. The comic is certainly ambitious, but unfortunately in this case that was not enough to make it enjoyable.

( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
I didn't like Swallow Me Whole at all ... why did I try to read this thing? Ug. Apparently I am not cut out for Powell's books, so I think I'm done trying. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
I think this requires a second read to get a handle on all of the themes surrounding militarism in the U.S. I'll definitely be picking up more of his work. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
Many interesting ideas underlying this story but disappointingly developed. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
A little chaotic and somewhat hard to follow but an interesting story on war and violence and our perceptions of justice. ( )
  akmargie | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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"[A] group of small-town kids find themselves bound together by geography, boredom, and a string of mysterious turtle mutilations. Years later, with Army tanks rolling through the streets of their hometown, these young adults are forced to confront painful questions of privilege, duty, betrayal, and courage" -- from publisher's web site.

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