Sirk TV Graphic Novel Review: ASHES – A FIREFIGHTER’S TALE [Z2 Comics]
In taking a real life scenario and tracing it within a comic book world, the idea of emotions are heightened as to purvey a sense of knowledge or at least one of self awareness. In “Ashes” [Mario Candelaria/Z2/144pgs], we enter the world of a man who sees his life in a balance of adrenalin and community. What causes his downfall is decidedly the essence of life which is unpredictability. The aspect of an accident in a high stress environment is always a possibility but this story does show it from a decidedly realistic point of view. The less precise lines and black and white sketching allows for a more skewed view of the world and, at times, dictates a sense of urgency or intrinsic tension. After the accident whenever we see our lead character, it seems as if the world is closing in on him, and in essence it is. While ultimately, the story does lead on a fairly formulaic path to redemption, it does take a more classical form of structure that gives us more humanistic view than we normally see. “Ashes” recognizes its possibilities and works with dexterity to exonerate them in terms of making a point. But the point is that there is no control in chaos. You simply have to go with the flow.
By Tim Wassberg