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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

Celeste (Hardback)


Author: I. N. J. Culbard
Artist: I. N. J. Culbard
Publisher: Self Made Hero
RRP: £15.99, US $24.95, Cdn $27.95
ISBN: 978 1 906838 76 8
Publication Date: 04 April 2014

What does it mean to be alone? In the blink of an eye, three people in different parts of the globe find themselves removed from the constraints of society when the rest of humanity vanishes. Afforded a wider perspective on their lives, each character is forced to examine both their place in the world and the pivotal moments on which their very existence may depend...

In London, the moment two commuters, Aaron and Lilly, lay eyes on each another on a packed Monday morning tube train, everyone else around them vanishes. In Los Angeles, Ray is sitting in gridlock on the 405 Freeway when he receives a call from an LAPD officer with news about his wife. Ray fears the worst. But just as the officer is about to give Ray the news, he is cut off. The caller has disappeared, and so has everyone else around him. Everyone except for a badly beaten man tied up in the trunk of another car. In Japan, comic artist Yoshi has come to the demon-haunted Aokigahara Forest to die, but the spirits of the forest have other ideas. Taking us through the deserted streets of London, the empty freeways of Los Angeles, and the dream world of the Aokigahara Forest.

Celeste takes one day in the lives of three individuals; the day that everyone else on the planet vanishes. For two of these people a random stranger nearby also seems to have survived the cull, but for the third all sorts of demons are hunting him down. Are they dreaming? Dead? Drugged? Who knows...

The story asks the question: In a world without consequences, what would you do? It's an interesting tale which is well worth picking up.


Nick Smithson

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