Hunter's Moon
by James L. White, Dalibor Talajic, Sebastian Cardoso (Boom!, 2008)

When his girlfriend/mistress cancels on a weekend getaway to a secluded North Carolina chalet, stockbroker Lincoln Greer decides (after insistence from his ex-wife) to take his son Wendell and turn it into a hunting trip not unlike those he shared with his grandfather. The trip starts out tumultuous enough as the two already have plenty of baggage to work through -- but then Wendell mysteriously vanishes. When Linc tries to get help from local law enforcement, he discovers that he's truly on his own in his search for his son.

Hunter's Moon starts out as a great father/son story, exploring the tension between the disconnected pair. Linc is the typical divorced distant father that has put his career above everything else, and his son is firmly entrenched in the "rebellious teenager" stage. The fact that they are black isn't worthy of reference until they arrive in the fictional mountain town of Menifee, N.C., where race becomes an ever-present underlying theme because every character from that point on is white, many of whom take a passively antagonistic attitude.

Some sequences of the story seem like they were cut and pasted from a standard small town/out-in-the-woods action flick screenplay, but are still nail-bitingly tense and enjoyable. The revelation of the plot's cause/motivation is the only downside of the story. While it's not lacking in logic, it is a surprise that the real-life person and his ideology acts as the protagonists' motivation. It makes for an odd tenuous connection to reality, even in the context of this otherwise possible story.

This story seems so realistic and possible in no small part to Dalibor Talajic and Sebastian Cardoso, who provide excellent linework throughout the series, showing a mastery of facial expressions and body language. There is an odd choice of completely omitting the background, especially during the deep discussions between Linc and Wendell, but that may have been for dramatic effect. When the backgrounds are drawn, they are drawn rather well with a special attention for small details. Juanmar's colors are striking in their intentional subtlety, and the natural color palette of greens, oranges and browns reinforce the beautiful rustic setting.

White, Talajic and Cardoso tell an engaging story with realistic dialogue, believable character interactions (especially between Linc and Wendell) and dramatic tension in a very difficult situation. Hunter's Moon is a story that could work in nearly any medium, but works especially well as a graphic novel. Anyone looking for a story packed with drama, suspense and action will not be disappointed.

review by
C. Nathan Coyle

27 September 2008

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