Advance Review: Black

Now running on Kickstarter, Black is a powerful read about growing up.

Check out some more details and my Fund Me Friday post here.

Tobias Taitt never knew his father, but he knew his mother all too well. After she killed his uncle, three-year-old Tobias was condemned to spend his early years in a series of bleak children’s homes. As a black youth growing up in Seventies’ Britain he learned first-hand that the world could be a cold and uncaring place for a child of the state. But he also learned to navigate—and eventually to buck—the system.

Writen by Tobias Taitt
Art by Anthony Smith

Going in, from reading the blurb and the previews of this book, I knew I was going to be reading something strong and possibly controversial. It is certainly strong and has some interesting elements of controversy within it. That does not take away from the enjoyment of reading as we follow the highs and many lows of Tobias Taitt’s early life.

As we follow the early life of Tobias, we get a good look at not only his childhood, but also the people and institutions that have shaped him, and more than likely shaped many others. This shaping shown here could have many different effects on many children, those of whom are adults in the UK today. I’m sure some of the stories told here will resonate with many people reading it.

Black can be graphic – not only in the art but also in the storytelling. This is as it should be, there should be no beating around the bush in a story such as this and the raw feel to the story and the emotions told and shown are well done and draw you in.

The story as a narrative works really well, working through homes, schools, colleges and the early days of adolescence. Black gives you an excellent slice of life that fits with the feelings of the time, and possibly how far we have come since then. Tobias’s comments on his decisions at the time seem honest and truthful. Sometimes the hindsight makes it more interesting.

The artwork is perfect for the story, with some striking scenes and some excellent panels. The large panels that break up the story fit really well. I love the style and the characteristics of the different people we meet throughout the story. The black and white/grayscale style adds to the feel of the story.

Black is an amazing, heartfelt story, with some deep feeling and is brilliantly told.

Black is currently funding on Kickstarter and is you can back it here.

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