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June 1&15, 2013 BOOKLIST
Titles similar to Set to Sea
Who knew that the big galoot who can’t pay his tab and gets kicked out of a tavern is a poet at heart, gazing longingly into library windows on dark, abandoned streets? Certainly not the scurvy seadogs who kidnap him and send him to sea as a replacement for their lost crew, where he learns that the waters are possessed of a much different poetry than he ever suspected. With elegant simplicity, this comic-book fable unfurls the tale of a life cast on an unexpected course and the melancholy wisdom accrued upon the waves. First-time graphic-novelist Weing has produced a beautiful gem here, with minimal dialogue, one jolting battle scene, and each small page owned by a single panel filled with art whose figures have a comfortable roundness dredged up from the cartoon landscapes of our childhood unconscious, even as the intensely crosshatched shadings suggest the darkness that sometimes traces the edges of our lives. A loving and very sophisticated homage to E. C. Segar’s Popeye, it would make a fine tonal companion for Scott Morse’s Southpaw (2003) or S. A. Harkham’s Poor Sailor (2005). Weing’s debut is playful, atmospheric, dark, wistful, and wise.