I love graphic novels. They are something else like I have always maintained. There is something about them that takes your imagination riding, even though it is all there in front of you. It is saying what it has to and yet it is not. Appupen’s graphic novels are different. There are many layers to it (at least for me) and one has to reread and reread the novel to make sense of it.
“Aspyrus” is the sequel to “Legends of Halahala”. Actually it is the third part in the series, the first being, “Moonward”. It is a silent graphic novel, with only images for most part of it. The first part was the setting of Halahala. Then came the absurdities of the land in the second book. The third book, “Aspyrus” is about dreams and a dragon-monster who controls the world through the dreams people create and symbolism against consumerism and where it is headed. It is about a dystopian vision of the world, through images and how Aspyrus rules and dominates the world of Halahala.
The book is about dreams and longing and desire and how individuals succumb to them. It is allegorical in nature and like I mentioned, I had to read it again and reread it to get a sense of it. The artwork is spectacular, the blues and the greys add to the atmosphere, the subtle puns in almost every frame lend to the much-needed wit and sarcasm. The illustrations are just right. The plot is perfect. The only problem I had (which got sorted with re-readings) was initially to make sense of the book. I recommend that you read these three in order, to make sense of the wonderful world that Appupen has created for readers. I can only now wait for the next instalment.