Comics & Graphic Novel

Zoc by Jade Khoo

I chose to read this book because of its peaceful cover (a lot of graphic novels seem to prefer the more dramatic ones). The story was in one instalment and is good enough to suit both adults and younger audiences. Although the characters are slightly younger, it is hard to put this book in any bracket.
I read it in one sitting, as I am sure many would also be able to do. It is the typical tale of a misfit trying to find her own place in life, but with a twist. Zoc has magic hair that attracts water that she then carries with her as she goes until she cuts off the tip of her braid, and the problem begins anew later. Although there is no explanation of the whys of this event or the concept of what it means to have such a curse/boon. A little further in, we meet yet another person with a different type of boon/curse, so it seems more acceptable in some senses. In another sense, people who cause trouble in everyday life with these ‘skills’ are chastised and not welcomed (sometimes with good reason, as we are soon to find out). For once, I was not bothered by the lack of an explanation – maybe the art lulled me into ignoring the question!
I liked the ending and the way it came about. Given the introduction of the new character, it should have seemed trite, but the setting and minimal conversation brought something new to this narrative. Several panels of walking are shown, which, instead of seeming repetitive, reinforce Zoc’s journey. I think this is the kind of book that you can give people, young and old and ask what they got out of it, whether they feel like they see something of themselves in any of the people in the book.
I read this as an ARC, thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.


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