Far Arden

Far Arden

by Kevin Cannon
     
 

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  • Meet Army Shanks — crusty old sea dog and legendary brawler of the high Arctic seas! He's got just one mission: to find the mythical island paradise known as Far Arden, which lies hidden (so they say) in the wintry oceans of the far North. But there's more than just water standing between
    Shanks and his goal: he'll have to contend with circus

Overview

  • Meet Army Shanks — crusty old sea dog and legendary brawler of the high Arctic seas! He's got just one mission: to find the mythical island paradise known as Far Arden, which lies hidden (so they say) in the wintry oceans of the far North. But there's more than just water standing between
    Shanks and his goal: he'll have to contend with circus performers, adorable orphans, heinous villains, bitter ex-lovers, well-meaning undergraduates, and the full might of the Royal Canadian Arctic Navy! Not to mention he's not so sure how to get to Far Arden in the first place...
  • In his first solo graphic novel, Kevin Cannon (Top Ten; Bone
    Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards
    ) proves himself a master spinner of yarns with Far Arden.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this fanciful tale set in arctic Canada, disparate characters struggle to find a mythic paradise island, Far Arden. Despite far-fetched aspects like the evil, bureaucracy-controlled Royal Canadian Arctic Navy, a half-man/half-polar bear and a conniving university professor of psychology, the story becomes mundane through the intertwining character relations and attention to detail in constructing the world. The protagonist, a stoic, rugged arctic pirate, Army Shanks, searches for the island to reunite with his mentor, Simon Arctavis, but is hindered by old acquaintances and ill-fortune. Slowly, the reader becomes immersed in this alternate arctic world. Commonplace and strange are fused, as rants on the dangers of global warming transition into a battle with a polar bear. The thick crosshatched backgrounds and simple fluid characters further ground the story. As the entwined pasts of Army, his ex, her current husband, a college couple and an orphan bent on revenge for his father's murder are revealed, entwining pasts become clear and the full range of this engrossing story is revealed. (May)

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VOYA - Kristin Fletcher-Spear
After a slow start, this nautical adventure graphic novel becomes an entertaining read. Shanks is a down-on-his-luck, former military man turned-pirate living in the Arctic. His luck turns around when he discovers that the vessel Areopagitica is in port. The boat contains a hidden map to Far Arden, a mythical place. Standing in his way to Far Arden is his former lover and her husband, political pressure from an old friend, two college students who are not what they seem, and a little poor orphan who just wants to avenge his father's death. Story wise, the graphic novel has a slow build in both plot and characterization. Broken down into fourteen parts, the first is almost incomprehensible. Too many characters appear with no explanation, and Shanks hops from one conveniently appearing boat to another. But once one moves past part one, the story and artwork are easy to decipher, allowing the reader to become swept up in the adventure. As the tale progresses, the characters' connections to one another add an extra level to the story. The black-and-white inked artwork is in simplistic sequential panels allowing the reader's eyes to flow easily from one panel to the next. The artwork focuses on the characters and little on scenery and backgrounds. Libraries looking to expand their graphic novel collections would find this one easy to booktalk to their older teens. Reviewer: Kristin Fletcher-Spear
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Known best for his prowess in illustration, Cannon has written a fun and exciting modern-day pirate tale. Army Shanks, a rugged sailor, is infatuated with locating Far Arden, a mythical haven in the Arctic, complete with lush fruit trees and flowers, waterfalls, and exotic women. His quest to find this elusive paradise is filled with twists and turns, trials and tribulations as he meets an odd assortment of seemingly unrelated characters, including an ex-lover, two college students, undercover "environmental cops," an orphan, a corrupt circus warden with his captive "man beast," and a ruthless professor who will stop at nothing to discover Far Arden. Cleverly weaving together his extraordinary cast of characters through past histories and present events, the author neatly ties everything up in a satisfying ending. The images in each panel skillfully match the tone of the story and beautifully support the characterization of individuals and events as they unfold. Cannon has proved himself to be a riveting storyteller with this fast-paced adventure that features polar-bear fights, kidnapping, conspiracy, misinterpretations, and double-crosses.—Lara McAllister, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603090360
Publisher:
Top Shelf Productions
Publication date:
07/14/2009
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
16 - 18 Years

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