I love books that have meaning. That being said I can’t stand books that try to have meaning. If you write a story with heart, with passion, and the art follows in kind, you will have a book with meaning. It may not be rocket science, honestly it’s magic. At this moment I have about 25 books in the process of being reviewed (being read, waiting for art, in editorial, you get the idea) very very few have that magic. City of Walls does.
The title of this review is “A Book About Heroes” so you’re probably waiting for the capes and tights, keep waiting. This is the story of three children, Daniel, Jin, and Ariana. They reside in Kowloon, the walled city, a hodgepodge of buildings all joined together, walkways, hallways, and gantries making a huge maze of tunnels and valleys. No one makes it out of Kowloon, between the city itself and the gangs that control it being born there is a life sentence. These three have decided they are leaving, even if they have to take to the skies to do it. Rising above what life hands us, that’s what makes heroes.
We meet up with the three just as they’re meeting each other, children making friends through tragedy. The world they live in is a rough place, gang killings in the streets, parents all but absent or passed on. Daniel and Jin become fast friends, Daniel’s ability to tell a story fascinates Jin and the story Daniel relates gives Jin some pretty big ideas.
When Ariana is added to the mix, through another tragedy we see the beginnings of a powerful friendship between these three, one that could change their lives forever.
A beautiful book, as you can see from the images here, impressive layouts with a hint of Boondocks in the character design but more importantly this is a book about kids. Kids living independently of the adults in their lives. Living for themselves in a world that wouldn’t care if the shriveled up and blew away.
Can these three youngsters escape the life (and city) that looms over them? I can’t wait to find out.
4 out of 5.
Buy City of Walls in digital or print from Red Stylo Media ($1.99 per issue), issue 3 is coming soon, catch up while you can!
City of Walls is by creators Shaun Noel and Abede Lovelace, with inks by Mark Morales. Published by Standalone Productions in cooperation with Red Stylo Press.