Wild Wisdom: A Warthog’s Tale by Laurada Byers, Natalie H Stewart (Artist), Stewart Williams (Designer)

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Here are some of the Wonderings and Realizations I’ve had along the way.

We are told from the start this isn’t a book meant to guide you, dear reader, towards a “perfect life”, what is a perfect life anyway? This a book of warthog wisdom, an animal that Laurada Byers sees as a sort of spiritual creature like herself, they may not always be pretty and graceful but damn if they don’t rise from all the muck and face life head on. Facing life head on is what Laurada herself has had to do, particularly after the tragic murder of her beloved husband, father to her children, Russell. She certainly didn’t give up when later, illness reared it’s ugly head. It isn’t that horrible things happened to Laurada that makes this book so inspiring, it’s what she chose to do with the arrows life slung her way.

The illustrations are playful at times, and sweet, did I just say that about renderings of a warthog? There is a page about the brain being permanently changed after witnessing a violent act that depicts a leopard leaping in the air at the warthog, it certainly must be as frightening, the act and the loop the mind gets stuck in. Seems perfectly suited to the thought. It isn’t all misery, though the moments in Laurada’s life aren’t anything to laugh about there is still humor in her wisdom. As they say, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. In memory of the life her husband lived, she chose to start a charter school which proceeds from the sale of this very book will benefit. How is that for not giving up? For thumbing your nose at misery? Inspiring, indeed. Anyone who has ever lost anyone, or suffered through an alarming diagnosis will relate. Lovely.

Available from Warthog Productions

Laurada Byers is a survivor, fighting cancer, Parkinson’s disease as well as PTSD from the tragic loss of her husband Russell.

 

 

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Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger Eddie Campbell (Illustrator)

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While this isn’t my usual pick, the moment I saw it was by Niffenegger, I had to request it. Wonderful illustrations accompany uniquely strange stories. The Composite Boyfriend is decent but something I think my younger readers would like. I enjoyed the tale of aging in Backwards in Seville, it is moving and heavier than the rest. There is something endearing about the drawing of Helene with scarlet lips, and lipstick smudges on the glass. Digging Up the Cat, seven years the animal rested in his grave, why the heck are the digging him up? Each tale is odd, it’s hit or miss, but always original. I’m just not always sure what was being said, whether the story tackled religion or art.

It’s a hard collection to review being as I don’t read graphic novels. Some of the stories left me confused. Getting Out of Bed is really good, one for the artists. It is a creative book, it’s strange because in some of the stories I preferred the art to the prose and in others the prose to the art.

I think it is for a different reader than me. All in all, it’s quirky tales that soar or confuse.

Publication Date: March 20. 2018

Abrams ComicArts