Happy release day to The Lost Carnival!
The Lost Carnival introduces readers to Dick Grayson, a boy who will one day become Robin (and Nightwing) the sidekick of Batman. Right now, he’s just a teenaged boy trying to figure out his place in the world. What is great about this story is that you can enjoy it whether you’re a fan of superheroes or not. I think that this graphic novel is really appealing across the board. It’s a really fun coming of age story where heroes battle villains and magic is at play.
Dick Grayson and his family are acrobats in a traveling circus, but Dick doesn’t love what he does enough to want to be an acrobat for the rest of his life. He’s struggling to find his place and figure out what he wants from life. His character is a blend of indecisive teenager and reckless savior. He’s not one to sit back and let other people be hurt or taken advantage of. Overall, it makes him a very likable character and people will feel a connection to him as a person (where they might not in his Robin or Nightwing persona).
What I loved most about this graphic novel were the atmosphere and the art. One day, a mysterious carnival appears and begins to compete for business. Readers who loved the Night Circus or Caraval will be drawn to the magic and mystery of the Lost Carnival. Even Dick is entranced, drawn away from his family’s show, and into the majesty of the unknown. The moments and scenes in the Lost Carnival were my favorite to experience.
The palette was monochromatic, some pages were yellow with shades of pinkish/orange and some were blue with shades of turquoise. The traveling circus is exactly what you would expect: acrobats, magicians, clowns, tents, and animals. Even his time outside the circus, driving with his friend was “normal” or what you would expect. They brought both settings to life in shades of blue. As Dick moves from the circus to the carnival, he went from blue in a blue scene, to blue in a yellow scene, and finally, he became yellow himself and I loved how the artist simply used color to depict his transition. It juxtaposed other scenes with the magical and mysterious carnival was always in shades of yellow. You always knew if you were watching a scene of the normal or the unknown based on the color scheme. I thought that was such a fantastic touch and something that I only subconsciously noticed when reading, but picked up when writing my review.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel and would love to experience more of Dick Grayson’s adventures. I think it has broad appeal and you should read it even if you rarely like superhero stories, but especially if you like magical elements in an otherwise normal world like the Night Circus.
Thank you to DC Ink for my digital review copy. This did not influence my review.
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