Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Recommend: Clan Apis

Find this graphic novel at: [Amazon] [Borders] [Barnes & Noble]

Bees? Bees. Bees! They buzz, they sting, they fly around open soda cans and make people feel uncomfortable. It seems like it'd be impossible to make a compelling comic about them - and yet that's exactly what Jay Hosler did with Clan Apis.

It's a sweet, funny, and occasionally heartbreaking story about Nyuki, a honeybee, as she grows from snarky, sassy larva to a snarky, sassy adult bee. It is, essentially, a coming-of-age story, albeit with far more bee trivia than most. (Hosler is something of a bee expert, and devotes large parts of the book to explaining bee society and behavior. Thankfully, he's a good enough storyteller to do this in a way that will keep even the most science-phobic folks entertained.)

On top of that, the artwork is fantastic. The expressions are clear and vibrant, which is especially impressive considering that all the characters are bugs (and, in one case, a flower) with no human characteristics whatsoever. Better yet, the panel layouts are dynamic without being too complicated, making this a fine first comic for anyone who likes books about growing up, biology, or both.

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