Thursday, March 3, 2016

Graphic Novel Spotlight: Astronaut Academy

Astronaut Academy by Dave Roman

Initially, Astronaut Academy was the webcomic Astronaut Elementary. This is reflected in episodic style of the book. Connections between each episode are barely present at times, making this book easy to read in fits and starts. In fact, that's how I recommend reading it, each episode read and absorbed on it's own. Mull each over for a bit before moving on. Some are not very deep, more humorous than thought-provoking. We have scenes of dinosaur racing, school rivalries, the love of toys or snack foods. Then there are the hearts. Roman's portrayal of love, crushes, and heartbreak really sets this book apart. In the world of Astronaut Academy, when you love someone you literally give them one of your hearts. If they love you in return, they also give you heart, leaving each person with a complete collection of hearts. If many people love you, you may have an abundance of hearts and love. If your love is not returned, you are stretched thin, left slightly empty. And worst, if your heart is broken, it never fits right again. I've read those scenes repeatedly and it never fails to have impact. While certainly quirky, Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity and it's sequel Re-Entry remain some of my favorites are definitely worth a read.

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