Daily Archives: December 1, 2008

Once Upon a Time, In the Great White North…

The Annotated Northwest Passage hardcover collected edition
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Scott Chantler
Editors: Randal C. Jarrel, James Lucas Jones & Jill Beaton
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $19.95 US

The theme here is history, and I’m not just talking about this collection but about this review as well. This hardcover collection of Scott Chantler’s series of Northwest Passage original graphic novellas was released last year, and I should have reviewed it some time ago. Sadly, I did have a review half-written a while back but then lost the thumb drive on which I’d saved it. I set the book aside for a while, but I happened upon it again recently. I gave it a second read, and I was reminded of the strength of the storytelling, the attractive simplicity of the artwork and the ambition behind the epic scope of the tale. I must also admit a certain fondness for the material stems from it being set in Canada (or least in locales that would eventually become Canada). Chantler’s proven his skill with historical fiction before with such books as Days Like This and Scandalous, but Northwest Passage is a cut above. Perhaps one might suggest it’s a more compelling story because it’s full of action and adventure, but really, the even stronger sense of history and larger-than-life qualities of the characters are what grabs the reader’s attention and never lets go.

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