Rob Davis’s The Book of Forks is the brilliant and bizarre final volume of a graphic novel trilogy.
Castro is writing The Book of Forks, which he hopes will explain to the masses the strange origins and mechanics of his world. He’s trapped in a prison called the Power Station, and his friends Vera and Scarper mount a long, dangerous campaign to find and free him.
This adventure occurs against an eccentric, bursting-at-the-seams imaginative backdrop. The plot elements, characters, and concepts are worth pausing to appreciate, as is the original art. “Immortals” are depicted as bears and whales with human baby faces. Skies rain knives, and libraries are destroyed to make forests. “Post-men” working out of post offices deliver people from one death state to another, and parents are can openers, or boats, or birds. It’s a surreal, extended dream come to life on paper.
The panel work is excellent, as are the full-page excerpts from Castro’s book that are scattered throughout. These excerpts include intricate diagrams, deep history and backstory, and an invented mythology that links the disparate pieces together. A sense of humor inhabits the text; although it deals with grand ideas whose interpretation could launch hours of further analysis and discussion, its delivery is always enjoyable.
The book’s inventiveness makes every page a thrill. Grounded in universal themes like the search for truth and the value of friendship, The Book of Forks is a tour-de-force, illustrating the vast potential of its format.
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