Rice Boy

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Comics & Graphic Novels -

Evan Dahm, Iron Cir­cus Comics (DE­CEM­BER) Soft­cover $30 (460pp), 978-1-945820-10-6

Mythic, sur­real, whim­si­cal, col­or­ful, and mas­ter­ful, Evan Dahm’s we­b­comic clas­sic Rice Boy has been con­ve­niently col­lected in a print edi­tion.

Rice Boy fol­lows the ti­tle char­ac­ter on a wind­ing quest to sat­isfy an an­cient prophecy, a mis­sion that brings him into con­tact with a seem­ingly end­less stream of cre­ations from Dahm’s fer­tile imag­i­na­tion. Dahm’s in­ven­tive­ness is ex­pressed through a myr­iad of land­scapes, and crea­tures that of­ten trans­form their ap­pear­ance.

One of Rice Boy’s al­lies is T-O-E, short for “The One Elec­tronic,” a ma­chine man whose face is a screen show­ing an ever-chang­ing series of ex­pres­sive black-and-white pho­to­graphic im­ages. An­other group of crea­tures speaks in a pic­to­rial lan­guage, and through­out the book, limbs are am­pu­tated, tak­ing on life of their own or re­veal­ing hid­den se­crets inside.

Strange as it may be, there’s more than just sur­face-level ex­per­i­men­ta­tion here—dahm knows how to con­vey emo­tion from his cast, par­tic­u­larly the in­no­cent but sur­pris­ingly cagey Rice Boy. Dahm’s de­cep­tively sim­ple-look­ing art­work uti­lizes a var­ied and bril­liant pal­ette, and it’s just plain fun to look at.

Rice Boy fea­tures ad­ven­ture-story ele­ments rem­i­nis­cent of clas­sics like The Hob­bit and Alice in Won­der­land, but with frogs as the only tra­di­tion­ally rec­og­niz­able char­ac­ters (the vil­lains, no less), this is Dahm’s world: bizarre, unique, and most im­por­tantly, en­joy­able. This graphic-novel ver­sion of Rice Boy pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity to sit back and re­lax with the com­plete story, and to ex­pe­ri­ence full im­mer­sion into Dahm’s land of un­lim­ited pos­si­bil­i­ties.

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