Andy Shuping's Reviews > Stuffed!

Stuffed! by Glenn Eichler
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's review
Oct 19, 11

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bookshelves: graphic-novel

Tim, a health-care administrator, gets a call one day that his father has had a setback and is in the hospital. Which surprises Tim, since he didn't know that his dad was sick. Dad quickly passes and Tim is left to care for the estate, such as it is, and find his missing half-brother Free. The estate mostly consists of the museum of the weird....of which the most notable pieces is "the Savage," a life sized African warrior. Tim wants to donate the statue, but is stunned when he finds out its a really taxidermied African man! Tim and Free set out on a journey to right wrongs and ensure that the "the Savage" finds a proper home at long last.

To be honest I'm not quite sure what the overall theme of the story is supposed to be. It mixes together so many different themes--brothers reconnecting, brothers overcoming screwed up family, coming to terms with absent father, racism, life, death--that I'm not sure which one is supposed to come out on top. I think part of the problem is that the author has so many different ideas of what he wants to cover that he tries to cram it all into a relatively short book. If it was something longer or done over a series of books then that many different themes might work, but as it is it just feels jumbled together in some places. Which is a bad since parts of the story are decent, such as Tim trying to do the right thing with the African man, but overall the mix of themes just don't quite work. I think if it had left out the brother component the overall story would have worked a bit better.

The artwork isn't bad. They do an excellent job of capturing the human form and capturing the expressions of the character so you can almost image that they're real people. You can see their anger, their exasperation with the turn of events and so on. Even the stuffed warrior is drawn in such a way that it looks real, but without being to fear inducing. In a few places they've overused the black line, such as on page 45 where Tim suddenly looks like he has two black eyes. It's a bit weird considering that in the rest of the book they do an excellent job of creating semi-realistic colors.

I don't want to sound so down on the story, but taken as a whole it doesn't quite work well together. If you see the book at your local library go ahead and pick it up to read, but it wouldn't be one that I'd recommend to buy for your selves at home.

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