Comic Review: Words and Sand #1 (Amirak Delat Creations)

Words and Sand, a self-published original graphic novel by Canadian creator Amirak Delat, tells the story of family, civil war, and spiritual links to the past. When his grandfather is […]

Words and Sand, a self-published original graphic novel by Canadian creator Amirak Delat, tells the story of family, civil war, and spiritual links to the past.

When his grandfather is reported dead, Cedric Levy leaves the US and travels to Algeria, northern Africa. It’s Cedric’s homeland, left behind long ago. This time around, he learns that the way to the truth is paved and unpaved, honest and deceptive, well-meaning but often crooked.

During its 1990s civil war, Algeria is filled with tension. Suspicion among factions, violence, people turning against people. Will Cedric be able to locate his grandfather? Will he fit in with his former friends? What price will he ultimately pay for his visit to Algeria?

Amirak Delat’s script is a solid one. She makes us feel for the characters, to wonder at the depiction of everyday life in times of turmoil. The dangers are clear enough to us all. Delat’s portrayal of the foibles of newcomers in understanding the customs of Algeria, the intensity of danger that can arise as suddenly as a sand storm; these are the essentials of strong storytelling. So are the many scenes of two or three characters interacting. The flow, the blossoming romance, the debates and turns of the conversation.

Delat’s artwork is made with thin line and colour. A carefully approached method of illustrating this desert tale, allowing her the latitude for colouring the images in a range of earth tone. It’s selectively detailed, with busy panels, and moments of calm reflection. A cat sitting on a floor. A hug, a glance. It’s magic. Delat’s reliance on the six-panel grid could be seen as predictable, but her intention here is likely to make us focus on the rhythm of the story rather than distract us with panel variations.

I thoroughly enjoyed Words and Sand, and when the story concluded, wished there was more!

On her website, Amirak Delat says “This story explores the themes of identity, self-acceptance, friendship, and travel. I was inspired by the history of my country of origin and my childhood in Algeria during the civil war in the 1990s.”

Words and Sand $25.00 for 154 pages paperback, or Kindle digital edition $3.88

https://amirakdelat.com/words-and-sand/

The four single issues are also available through Comixology
https://www.comixology.com/Words-and-Sand-1/digital-comic/875617?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=WordsandSand%231&utm_content=Submit+Email&utm_term=Indie+Comics

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!