Rachael Smith will launch her latest graphic novel The Rabbit through Avery Publishing with two launch events very soon……but before that I got a chance to have a read.
The story follows Eleanor & her younger sister as they try to escape their school their parents & all their troubles in one fell swoop…..by running away. First step in that escape is letting their imagination run wild as they act out some mythical scenes of knights & dragons while looking for a place to set up their tent…..it already sounds like something I’d consider too. That of course leads them to more adventures albeit in a new twisted world where they discovery Craig…….the talking (and very hungry) Rabbit.
The twists and turns in the hours or maybe even days that follow (I don’t think we ever really know that for sure) bring a darker and fairly messed up world for the siblings to get lost in. It’s got the charm and sensibilities of some of the classic 80’s movies where adventure is the order of the day. Think Labyrinth or The Neverending Story and you’ll get an idea of the vibe that Rachael has been able to grab with both hands and pour into the pages. The result is a wildly inventive story with the kind of solid characters that Rachael has already become known for in her previous works like I Am Fire, House Party and more.
The adventure and the talking rabbit are the attention grabbers but like those other titles there’s a deeper message to be found in this release. One of growing up, one of accepting your responsibility and one of realizing just how fortunate you are in your current situation……or at least that’s the message I take away from it. The other gain from this is that Rachael again writes & draws her own creation and that in itself gives The Rabbit the same personal feeling and an air of realism that helps bolster that message.
This makes the title funny, weird, sad but ultimately engaging which I’m sure many comics wish they could achieve and it’s one that we can all relate to in some way……minus that talking rabbit…..or maybe you can….who knows??