UK-based Canadian animator Norm Konyu’s eye-catching release The Junction hit Kickstarter at the beginning of March and the unique style oozes an animators touch that screams out “Read Me!!”
It tells the story of Lucas who has been missing from his hometown along with his father since September 1984 but his return brings with it a new mystery & a whole lot of suspicion from the locals. He still has family to support him in the form of his Aunt & Uncle but even they are at a loss with his arrival and just what has gone on with him for the last eleven years.
The local police force, the psychologists & the press are all thrown into a frenzy of investigation as they clamber for the truth that’s just out of their reach and with excerpts from interviews & Lucas’ own journal being weaved through the story by Norm, it feels like they’ll never fully catch-up. That’s something that made this a real page-turner fro me from the beginning and with all it’s dialogue & information from official documents it felt like it gathered momentum while keeping us on the edge of our seats.
The twists & turns and the eventual reveals are all added to the mix with an air of subtlety and as Lucas tries to find his true place in this world the loss of time & family seemed to hit me just as hard it did him. The distrust from the locals around the whole situation brings with it a grounding element of the real world to it while the pieces are put together around the bits of memory Lucas has to piece together but with Norm’s slick pacing there’s a real sense of achievement for everyone by the final pages.
The art from Norm takes this whimsical mystery to a whole new level as he manages to tap into a strong feeling of nostalgia with a visual style that’s exceptionally familiar from the beginning. As it oozes that home town vibe it feels like you’re part of what’s going on in it and that triggers a quick connection with the characters and the story all at the same time. That works strongly in its favour as jumping into it I thought this could be weighed down by the expectations I had but instead the book was challenged by them as I read and surpassed them with ease.
The Junction has an instant fan in me with a heartfelt, engaging & fantastical story at its core that quickly shows you that it has the beating heart of a classic. While I love the look of the book in the early images and in the digital copy I have, there’s no doubt that I’ll be easing into another read and future re-reads once that hardcopy comes through my door.