“Lost, without his memory, in an unfamiliar world, Erik Farrell must piece together a new life for himself. Can he survive as the only living boy left in the world?” (title page)
Caught out in a storm, a runaway with no memory, Erik Farrell finds shelter (and a teddy bear backpack) under the overhang of a large boulder. When he wakes in the morning, he finds himself in the far, post-human future. The city has been engulfed in a jungle, ruled over by a dragon. Fantastic creatures roam, and Eric encounters several species, including a mysterious insect race and a humanoid aquatic species, the Mermidonians. Forced to fight for his life by the evil Doctor Once, a mutant who serves even more frightening masters, Eric makes a choice to be bold.
“There are probably a million other kids out there just like me. But that’s the thing.. you don’t have to be exceptional. You just need the confidence to feel you can win when it matters most.” (p.30)
This is the first in a series of comics/graphic novels with a wonderfully imagined fantasy future, where 12 year old Eric must struggle to survive. This is a dangerous world where a friend may become an opponent in the Census, where the fight is to the death much like in the Coliseums of Ancient Rome.
The storyline is interesting, as are the characters, and the artwork is of high quality. My 12 year old niece was impressed by the visual aspects, but did not care for the level of violence. As an adult, however, I found myself enjoying it immensely and I appreciated the presence of strong female characters as well as the (bit of a ) cliff-hanger ending that leaves you wanting to read issue #2.
Recommended for middle grade and up, really anyone who enjoys a post-apocalyptic, fantasy adventure. One of my favorite graphic/comic reads this year. 4/5 stars.
Disclosure thingy: This review is based on a free digital copy won from co-creator David Gallaher in a BookLikes giveaway, in exchange for an honest review.
The Only Living Boy (issue #1) by co-creators David Gallaher (writer) and Steve Ellis (artist) | Bottled Lightning, July 2012 | digital review copy, 49 pages