I Wanna Be Literated #171

I Wanna Be Literated #171

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck, Nick Bertozzi

It’s comic books like these that I love writing about. Partly because it helps fuel the fire of the flame I’m stoking about how mainstream superhero comics are now irrelevant. Also, because The Good Earth is a fantastic book that I want to tell everyone about.

Yes, I know it was a novel long before it was a comic book, so hold your horses.

Instead of dealing with flying capes and ridiculous villains and circumstances, the Good Earth is about history, humanity, survival, the search for happiness, and foremost about appreciating our lot in life. It follows the Story of Wang lung, a poor farmer born in China in the early 1900s and how through perseverance and luck is able to overcome his poverty to find economic security. Thinking this would bring him true happiness, Wang Lung instead realizes that a steady income of money does not keep all the moving parts in his life in check. He is constantly conflicted with his obligations and responsibilities and doing the right thing while still fighting the urge to make himself happy through other pleasures. Though he falters, stumbles, and makes mistakes, his path is relatively well taken due to the fact that he’s figured out how to make good use of the land he’s acquired.

This is truly a heart wrenching story set in such an unfamiliar time to the reader that it leaves one guessing where the story will go. Nick Bertozzi’s artwork gives Pearl Buck’s story an art that seems to match the source perfectly, being both free of framework constraints and yet easy to follow. It’s clearly a throwback to ancient style but still looks fresh.

The Good Earth is impressive for how much story it’s able to tell and proves once again what the comic book artform can accomplish, and unfortunately, what most fans of the genre are missing out on.

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