Carbon, a graphic novel, is fast-paced read about coal and it’s legacy we all must face. When a coal operator discovers, deep underground a coal that can burn cleanly and forever he strives to get his hands on that coal no matter what the cost. With increasing zeal and evilness he is willing to sacrifice everything: the miners, the land, and the local town of Eden. He has already lost miners down the long, deep shaft when he sends in one more crew. But these miners find more than just coal in the depths of the mine – they find an evil that threatens not only to consume them, but to break free to the surface and consume anything in it’s path. If they are to survive they must rely on each other.
Boyd cleverly rewrites biblical history, to show a new version of events of how everything was created from god to people. Carbon spans a time before history to modern day, where we see man’s interest in coal grow and man’s care for the earth wane. Carbon is a cautionary tale against greed and mining without consideration for the lives it effects through the tainting of water supplies and the sheer danger of the job itself. The novel moves pretty fast, losing no time on build up and the artwork is well done, though sometimes it can be hard to tell the characters apart. The writing is creative and entertaining, if on the short side. And what graphic novel would be complete without some hyper-sexualized she-demons? Overall not a bad read, and if it’s not exactly to the reader’s taste there is not much time lost, as the novel doesn’t take very long to read. The Afterward is especially interesting as Boyd goes into detail about his ties to the coal industry, why he wrote Carbon, and what he plans to do in the future, which adds a nice personal touch.
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