Do ideas of war and enemies hold a people together? Is a culture of conflict too seductive not to be irresistible?
These are the questions 2008 Eisner Award Winner Cathy Malkasian explores in her second graphic novel, Temperance, a fully realized, multi-layered world, inhabited by vividly realized characters and master craftsmanship. After a brutal injury in battle, Lester has no memory of his prior life. For the next thirty years his wife does everything to keep him from remembering and re-constructing a society, Blessedbowl, that elevates him as a hero. Blessedbowl is a cultural convergence of lies, memories, stories, and beliefs. Its people thrive on ideas of persecution, exceptionality, and enemies, convinced that war lurks just outside their walls. Malkasian creates a densely textured social context, masterfully conveying the idiosyncratic physical domain with its spiraling structures and quasi-medieval architecture.
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