Monday, March 20, 2017

A Review of, "NightLights," by Lorena Alvarez

As I've discussed before, I get emails from Tucker Stone over at NoBrow who tends to know pretty well what I like and don't like based on how he used to be a comic blogger/reviewer famous for his delightfully twisted and at times harsh writings. Now he works in public relations for NoBrow and (I presume) channels his rage via wandering the woods and feasting on lost campers like some kind of bloodthirsty Bigfoot/Yeti as opposed to making fun of Brian Wood (let us never forget that Brian Wood is kind of a huge creep). Anyways, whenever he tells me I might like a book I tell him to send it on over as I trust his judgement/don't want to be eaten alive. The latest fascinating release from NoBrow that was provided for review is, "Nightlights," by writer and artist Lorena Alvarez.

Nightlights focuses on a young girl named Sandy with incredible artistic skills. She loves to draw, doodle, or otherwise create amazing images, and it gets her in trouble at the strict Catholic school she attends (it always seems like  nuns are either mean and strict or really nice and wise in stories). Sandy has an even cooler secret ability however. Late at night her drawings come alive and take her on fantastic journeys full of bright colors and general gorgeous imagery. It isn't made completely clear whether these trips to another world may very well be dreams of Sandy or somehow are real--it is left up to the reader to interpret.
Sandy meets a new girl at school named Morfie and...well, something ain't quite right with Morfie. She really seems to be into Sandy's art-skills and a bit later in the story lures Sandy away to make it quite clear she wants to abuse Sandy's powers for all of time. Not cool, Morfie, not cool at all. Sandy of course escapes however because this is a happy book geared toward children and it would be pretty depressing if she were trapped in a netherworld/dreamland for all of time.

The story in, "Nightlights," is very solid, but I absolutely loved the imagery. There is a wondrous difference between the more muted tones and designs of the world when Sandy is awake versus once her dreams take her to other worlds. The main reason I confirmed to Tucker I was interested in this book was because of how just plain gorgeous the art is.
Between the fun story and absolutely incredible visuals, "Nightlights," is a stellar book by creator Lorena Alvarez and one that is sure to be enjoyed by children and adults alike. It also teaches the important less to not trust any weird kids named Morfie who try to take you to strange dreamscapes, so that's a key lesson for your kids as well (I know I'll be teaching my new son that).
5 out of 5 stars.

Note: A copy of this book was provided for the purpose of review.

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