by J. Torres & Jennifer L. Meyer
Aesop’s Ark is the comic book equivalent of a Pixar movie. This is meant as high praise, as both manage to entertain the kids and adults in the audience. Aesop’s Ark takes themes that everyone can relate to in some capacity and tells a well crafted tale that leaves you with a little life lesson at the end.
J. Torres does an excellent job taking very relatable concepts, and distilling them into a form any age group will comprehend. In issue #2, the animals on the ark must confront fear head on. There are many small creatures running around and quite a few predators too. When an owl wants to join a group of smaller birds and rodents for a telling of tales, everyone becomes noticeably uneasy. As in the real world, some of the group is ok with this, while others try to voice their concerns without upsetting the owl. The views of the different birds range all the possible reactions from someone in a similar situation. Torres makes his critters very human and relatable. He manages to pack a lot of story and emotion into just twelve pages.
Jennifer L. Meyer’s pencils are absolutely top notch. The level of detail in the animals she draws is staggering. With no inks, we see how dynamic her line-work is. She really captures the movement of all the birds featured in issue #2. This issue features a lot of group shots, yet no creature is lost in the shuffle and no panel looks too busy. The two page color sequence for this issues’ story-within-a-story uses a different color palate then the pervious issue. It has the look of being read from an old book, which adds to the timelessness of the story and the moral it teaches. Meyer’s art alone is worth the price of boarding Aesop’s Ark.
Aesop’s Ark is a wonderful all-ages book. The issues the animals struggle with are the same everyone has dealt with at some point. Its’ story resonates so well because of the readers ability to sympathize with the characters. It gives us pause and we think what we would do in these situations. Would we be the owl or the humming bird? There aren’t many comics out there that allow you to reflect on what you just read and see how it relates to your own life. Aesop’s Ark is a short read that has more substance than most comics twice its size. Torres and Meyer are crafting beautiful stories that fans of any age can dive right in and enjoy. You should definitely get a seat on this boat. I’m sure the animals can make room.
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