Review: W obcej skórze

W obcej skórzeW obcej skórze by Anna Andruchowicz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a weird and wonderful original Polish graphic novel, which title loosely translates to “In a foreign skin”. It’s an eerie, silent story of a wolf in a forest populated with a combination of traditional animals and what looks like huge fantasy creatures.

It slowly becomes apparent that there is some kind of sickness among the animals, giving them spiky outgrowths that initially make them look like monsters and finally overcomes them, making it impossible for them to eat. The wolf befriends one of these big fantasy creatures that suffer from massive outgrowths, but their friendship is tested again and again by the cumbersome effects of the sickness.

The art is printed from the pencil artwork, without inking and is evocative in it’s consistent use of shadings and crosshatching. The anatomy of all these animals also feels correct all through the story, which is no mean feat. Overall, this feels like a combination of the visuals from the silent Gon by Japanese artist Masashi Tanaka and the creepy story of a sickness that deforms the bodies of it’s inhabitants in American artist Charles BurnsBlack hole.

All in all, I’m impressed, and that the fact that this is Androuchowicz’ first graphic novel doesn’t make it any less impressive.