In "Chickens," we meet a young girl (chick, I suppose) who helps her family run a boarding house but pines for the adventure that the great, big beyond can offer. This story is wonderfully told and reminds me of Tennessee Williams' Glass Menagerie. It's not in his style but has a steady and pervasive style of its own that lets the weight of the world hang on every action. There is power in each word on the page, and you feel the import of not only what is said but what isn't, as well.
Over in "Pigs," we encounter a man working at a slaughterhouse who seems to want more than his job can offer him and more for the job that could be done. A cautious tale that pits a man who sees the world differently than it sees itself, the enormity of being different pulls at you in every panel. The weight of a lifetime of inertia keeping you locked into your role is staggeringly difficult to overcome, and this story addresses just that kind of struggle beautifully.
Claire Connelly paints this world with a tonal quality that doesn't let you off the hook from the story being shared but pulls you into the struggle that each of these characters faces and pits the world against them in a stark manner. In "Chickens" the presence of human food is incidental, working slowly into your mind in clever snippets until hitting you in veiled mentions in the story. "Pigs" sets it right in front of you quickly, and there's no turning away from what the story is getting at.
This is a comic worth good conversation; it inspires with heavy subjects in a way that is strangely uplifting in the face of monumental adversity.
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