GRAPHIC NOVEL WEEK
Some people prefer to take the ‘off the beaten path’ tours and see some unconventional sites. That’s what happens here in the graphic novel Disaster, Inc., written by Joe Harris and illustrated by Sebastián Píriz.
In 2011 one of the worst earthquakes in Japan history caused three of the four nuclear reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to melt down, releasing enough radioactive material into the air and ground that the area may be a hot zone for the rest of time. So a tour to the area is not officially authorized or sanctioned, but a daring few can’t resist the lure of visiting the place.
What they didn’t realize until it was too late was that the Fukushima Daiichi area was once home to the samurai, who patrolled and protected the region. The leaked radiation has awakened the long-dead samurai who are still looking to protect their territory. This doesn’t bode well for those who’ve intruded in the area.
Ghost/zombie samurai? A radioactive hot zone? Heck yeah! What a great place for a horror story. And the story…? It’s not very good.
Ghost/zombie samurai make a great character to build a story around, but in the 120 pages here, we don’t really get a lot of story.
There’s something going on with our leading (living) character, Abby. She may be running from something, or to something. What’s important, I guess, is that she’s got a secret and we want to keep reading in order to find out more. And the samurai are killing people around her, now that they’ve been awakened. But at the moment she appears to be a survivor. Is there a connection? Who knows? Keep reading, I guess.
I understand the nature of comic books and how a storyline is drawn out over the course of many months (or years) in the books. But typically (I think) a graphic novel pulls together a set of comic books that provides one complete story – there may still be a larger story arc that would include more than one graphic novel. This graphic novel has no end. The book closes just as any comic book issue might finish … with a little bit of a cliff-hanger to get you interested in buying the next issue.
That’s not likely to happen here, for me.
The art is fine. It’s nothing extraordinary and it didn’t make me cringe. It served the purpose of helping to tell the story.
Looking for a good book? Disaster, Inc is a graphic novel by Joe Harris and Sebastián Píriz that is left unfinished and because of the slow pace at revealing any details about what is happening isn’t something that I can recommend.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Joe Harris
artist: Sebastián Píriz
publisher: Aftershock Comics
paperback, 120 pages