Categories: reviews

The Academic Hour is a multidisciplinary, debut graphic novel. It comes from the mind's eye of forever-student-of-life, Keren Katz. The once failed air traffic controller, highly trained ballerina and lover of the meandering path of endless education has found her true calling in comics.

Anyone who wishes that the comics medium can be more than panels, formal narrative, and speech bubbles will do well to pick up this book. I wandered with happy dizziness among Katz's choreographed colored pencil drawings, poetic descriptions of paper-cut-out maps, and an obscurely documented romance. I adored seeing her lightly drawn process lines peeking through her final art. I was a joyful witness to the elongation of her characters and her endlessly stretched and shrunken architecture.

I can't forget images like the horse being ridden by a rib cage, as it itself trod upon train wheels. Or plush toast! If you have ever been pleased at the sight of an arm wrapped around a large portfolio or a thumb tucked between the pages of a book, you'll crave this book's aesthetics. Even if loose socks and overgrown pencils are not your cup of tea, this theatrical production will bring you swiftly to your feet. You will applaud at every intermission and sigh in agreement with every spoken verse.

I am grateful to be a reader lead along a path of unexpected conclusions. It is fun to try and spot the autobiographical references, no matter how fantastical. This illuminated treasure is to be read, and read again.

Thank you for reading!

🖤 Maggie

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