Seeds by Ross Mackintosh

Posted by on March 4th, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Com.X Publishing; 80pp.; $10.99; B&W; Softcover; ISBN: 9780983223801

 

Ross Mackintosh’s Seeds is a first-time effort with an artistic style indicative of Alison Bechdel or Marjane Satrapi.  Deeply thoughtful and profoundly heartfelt, Seeds explores a universal experience made all the more personal and tangible as Mackintosh reaffirms the intimate connections between the reader and the text itself.

Although it may be off-putting, the topic of cancer and the death of a loved one is something that has, unfortunately, touched and affected most people.  What is more surprising, however, is that Seeds really is not about death, but rather about character, soul and relationships.  Many times, readers look to graphic novels for escapism as the majority of what fills the store shelves in either comic shops or chain retailers caters to the adventure-driven, superhero market.  With a book like Seeds, though, it is hard not to escape the realities of life as Mackintosh does a superb job of creating viable, everyman characters and authentic dialogue and experiences for them.

While the crucial dynamic of the narrative is the important bond between father and son, the story itself is anything but overtly masculine or patriarchal.  In fact, it can be argued that the truly significant relationship is between generations and family as the main character finds comfort and solace engaging with his daughter as he had once done with his father.  This primarily autobiographical exploration also finds levity in humorous moments shared during the exasperatingly difficult times in the hospital as Mackintosh witnessed his father deteriorate.  The “spinnos” game between Mackintosh and his dad immediately comes to mind.

 

Seeds reflects the rougher edges of storytelling and pacing to be expected from a beginning writer.  At times, the transitions can feel rushed, as if Mackintosh could have included more story or detail, developing the narrative further with additional sequences.  Although Mackintosh’s experiences come through clearly and the panels and their structure emphasize the authenticity of Mackintosh’s voice, some readers may be left wanting more.

 


Seeds is difficult to read without experiencing that lump-in-your-throat reaction as the realization of death and the loss of a beloved family member hits home.  Even a second or third reading does not dilute Mackintosh’s abilities to connect with audiences on some meaningful level.  In fact, sons and daughters, as well as those with children of their own will find something special in Mackintosh’s book.   A strong statement of sequential art’s potentials beyond the spandex-clad mainstream, Seeds, like others before it, illustrates how serious, mature themes in graphic format can achieve just as powerful an impact often reserved for traditional literature.  As with Forty-Five, Com.X deserves praise for giving a platform to another important, new voice in the comics medium.

images ©Ross Mackintosh

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One Response to “Seeds by Ross Mackintosh”

  1. [...] 4, 2011 by bgc2 Here is a link to my review of Ross Mackintosh’s Seeds via Com.X Publishing at The Comics [...]