Bird Boy

Bird Boy

Volume 1, The Sword of Mali Mani

Book - 2016
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Bird Boy follows the story of Bali, a 10 year-old boy, desperate to prove his worth to his Northern tribe, despite his small stature. Banned from the ceremony that would make him an adult in the eyes of his people, he takes matters into his own hands. To prove that he is capable of taking care of himself, he sets out into the forbidden forest and stumbles upon a legendary weapon.
Publisher: Milwaukie : Dark Horse, 2016.
ISBN: 9781616559304
Branch Call Number: J Szabl
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; cm.
Alternative Title: Sword of Mali Mani


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forbesrachel Apr 15, 2017

Once there was a great hero who, with sword and bell, drove back the beings of the night, before disappearing. Time passed, and the acts of Mali Mani loom large over all. But this is not his story, this is the tale of a unlikely hero-in-the-making. Bali is small, barely capable of lifting a weapon, and, by contrast, enemies are large and fierce, and tall and terrifying. However, Bali is also brave and curious, and when he finds the sword of Mali Mani, he sets events in motion that may resolve the stalemate currently in place.
Bird Boy has a unique world aesthetic. Every human, animal, and creature has a helmet-like mask (humans wear ones with animal motifs, while the other beings have slick geometric designs). This is just one example of how the art and story shows the influence of several different cultures, most notable of which is that of Native American peoples. This does not necessarily mean that it is a good representation of these cultures, so should be read with a critical eye. However, as a piece of Fantasy that attempts to fill a gap in the genre, Bird Boy enjoys the company of few other works, and that is part of its appeal.
Szabla's style is precise. She uses minimal narration (and text in general), and yet the narrator's voice pervades the atmosphere with the solemnity of storyteller relating a saga. As for the action, those come in the form of brief vignettes, showcasing punctuating moments to convey events.
Bird Boy's exciting story, strong voice, and unique world will capture the imagination of many a child and adult. This is one of those webcomics that is worth buying a print version.

cmlibrary_ecrites Jan 26, 2017

Beautiful artwork! I was invested from the first page and can't wait to read more.

Nov 28, 2016

Wonderful and strange and unique.

AL_CATHERINE Nov 01, 2016

Beautiful art and a great adventure story! I think this would be the perfect introduction for kids wanting to get into graphic novels beyond superhero comics. I also really appreciated the touches of lore from the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

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