During the Great Flood of 1927 in Chatterlee, Mississippi, the River is rising as fast as the racial and social tensions in town. But when an otherworldly being falls from the sky and challenges everything these divided people know, it changes things . . . forever.
This was one of those books that I really had no idea of what to expect, even a handful of pages in. The combination of actual events and fiction that we see within is pretty intriguing though. Whether you know of the historical component, the fictional side of Strange Fruit is what will naturally draw you in.
A good amount of what we see in this title is very likely accurate to things that really would have occurred. Putting aside the great representation of the flood and the racial issues, we have the interesting addition of an unearthly visitor. His presence at first only adds to the tension in town, especially given his appearance as someone of African descent. Without any knowledge of our world, our language, or even having a reason to help, he still does what he can to help. By the end, even having those still very prejudiced trying to harm him, he sacrifices himself to save the town.
Not a lot of books will go down the artistic route this one did and it’s always impressive when you find one. I’d comment on the lineart, only there is none, with all of the illustrations fully painted. I can’t even fathom the work it takes to do so many pages like this, but it pays off with how fantastic it looks.
It takes a courageous team to put together a book like this with very real views into the racism of these times, language and all. Put that together with the amazing art and a creative mythic component and you have a winner. This is probably not a story you want to let float downstream, so hike up your pants and get yours.
For more on Strange Fruit or other Boom titles, check out Boom! Studios.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.