REVIEW SUMMARY: An engrossing story about life, love and family.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A family tries to outrun three harbingers of death.
PROS: Quick moving, emotional storyline; suitably dark pencil drawings match the tone of the story.
CONS: Some awkward moments where images focused away from people who were talking.
BOTTOM LINE: A dramatic, engrossing story.
Cyril Pedrosa’s graphic novel, Three Shadows, is the touching and suspenseful story of how two parents (Louis and Luis) attempt to protect their young son (Joachim) from three shadowy figures. The family lives an idyllic and peaceful life until the shadows appear, then fear drives them to take action. The events that follow take the family to faraway lands where they encounter mystics, slave traders, and other dangers, but, as might be expected, this does not stop the shadows from their endless pursuit.
Despite the “chased by the shadows of death” storyline, this is not the run-of-the-mill, action-laden story one might expect. Instead, the story wisely hangs the drama on themes of parental love and protection. This is implemented surprisingly well with relatively little dialogue. With just a few panels and brush strokes, Pedrosa creates characters you care about who are able to successfully convey feelings of fear, protectiveness, bravery, love, or whatever emotion the story calls for. Perhaps that’s no surpise…Pedrosa’s credits include Disney’s Hunchback of the Notre Damemovie and Hercules television series and the comics Ring Circus, Shaolin Moussaka, and Les Coeurs Solitaires.
Pedrosa’s moody, black-and-white artwork consists of pencil drawings which perfectly suit the dark tone of the story. There are moments where characters communicate via expressions alone and the images capture that perfectly. There were a few awkward moments when images focused away from speakers of dialogue, for no apparent reason (“Was there supposed to be something notable in that scene?”) but they take little away from this dramatic, engrossing story which accentuates the importance of family.