Hi folks! Comic Neophyte here and back at it again with another comic review.
This month we have Go Fish: a colorful, fun and quick read.
And what a transition it is from the first story I reviewed just a month ago: Boudicca. From themes of blood, death and despair portrayed in monotone colors, I open Go Fish to be greeted with vibrant colors, hope and optimism.
But let’s get to it.
I’d argue that, despite reading and looking like a story meant for a younger audience, there are some very stark coming-of-age lessons and adult themes intertwined in the narrative of Go Fish that will resonate with young adults and beyond.
But before we get into the story, let’s talk about the art: it’s stellar. Beto Nascimeto needs to be picked up by Pixar right away. Each page sets up an elaborate set piece that, despite taking place in an unspecified ocean throughout, really helps move you through the story with radically different representations of settings portrayed from scene to scene.
And exactly what ocean does this story take place in? The very first obstacle our protagonist faces comes in the form of two threatening sharks. One shark apparently speaks Spanish and goes by the name Maria. OK, fair enough. But the other shark is named Bernardo, which is a name with heavy German origins. The sea is quite a diverse place, and I think it may be no small coincidence that the authors picked such a setting to reflect the growing acceptance of diversity not only in today’s workforces, but in our communities, states and countries.
In Go Fish, you’ll follow Alex, a parrotfish who’s experiencing a stereotypical coming-of-age moment of his own, by attempting to move to the big city and find his first job. Throughout his quest, Alex faces danger, turmoil, and delay, but with our protagonist’s youthful glow and the bold scenery, it’s hard to break anything more than a smile throughout reading. The dialogue is wistfully punchy and cute, and while the story itself lacks some depth, it’s a happy and satisfying read, from start to finish, all the same. It’s a story that resonates with youthful optimism throughout, and one that, being a bit long in tooth myself, I haven’t experienced much of recently.
I especially loved the minuscule bits of tongue in cheek humor and even the few pop culture references that I picked up on in the dialogue, such as “Must go faster. Must go faster” – this being from Jurassic Park.
As with so many personal coming-of-age stories, including my own, the road forward in life isn’t exactly as we envisioned it. And it certainly isn’t for Alex. From a shark encounter to a harsh rejection delivered right at the doorway to his dreams, not all goes perfectly for Alex throughout, but as with any inspirational story, everything ends well in this little parrotfish’s journey.
But questions remain. How exactly did Alex ‘save the city’ at the end? Without giving too much away, its apparent that he had a big hand (or flipper) in saving several townsfolk, but despite some trickery at the expense of Alex’s original, and ongoing, nemeses in this story, I’m not sure how he fully achieved his renowned feat. Once you read Go Fish, maybe you can tell me what I’m missing?
Moral of the story? Everyone has value, and not everyone’s value reflects what you see of them on the outside. It’s an important message in this day and age. Did these themes resonate for you? Let me know in the comments. Let’s discuss! But first, go read Go Fish.
Did we mention it's also an animated movie with Mark Hamill, iJustine and Ron Perlman? No seriously! Check it out!