HAYES , Nick. The Rime of the Modern Mariner. illus. by author. Viking. 2012. Tr $32.. ISBN 978-0-670-02580-0.
Adult/High School–In cleverly constructed verse that echoes (without mimicking) Coleridge, Hayes presents the tale of a 21st-century explorer who has ridden the high seas in search of (illegally hunted) whale bone for scrimshaw. He has been sucked into the swirling mass of garbage in the north Pacific (see Rachel Hope Allison’s I Am Not a Plastic Bag by [Archaia 2012]) and eventually comes to a London park bench to regale a businessman who has just signed his own divorce papers and will not be swayed to consider any concern beyond his own polished life’s. Faux block print style artwork abounds with textures–the tangles of old fishing nets, the plaids of shirts, the curly head of the mariner, the woodsy grotto where he is nursed to health–all washed in a gentle blue. With just a line or two on most full-page spreads, some passages are told only visually; Hayes has plotted the panels and isolated full-page moments in elegant harmony with the rhyme itself. This is stellar sequential art, offering the juxtaposition of human greed that has remained a species-signature across the centuries with the environmental mess this greed and selfishness has wrought. It also offers access to Coleridge’s original by showing the bones of symbolism he employed.–Francisca Goldsmith, Infopeople Project, CA .
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