Comic Review: Summer Fires HC (Dark Horse Comics)

Two Italian sisters, Rachel and Sabrina come of age in Summer Fires, a graphic novel presented by Dark Horse. Summer Fires, first published in Italian in 2015 as Incendi Estivi, […]

Two Italian sisters, Rachel and Sabrina come of age in Summer Fires, a graphic novel presented by Dark Horse.

Summer Fires, first published in Italian in 2015 as Incendi Estivi, blends the mystery of raging wildfires in the Italian hills with raging desires of the small town local teens. The intensity of hormones, smoldering desire for experimentation, and loads of peer pressure.

Written and illustrated by Giulia Sagramola, it’s a well-drawn, and drawn-out summer saga. While translator Brahm Revel perhaps needs to find new swear words in English, the dialogue flows reasonably well. The character language is strong and full of drama. So far, so good.

The drawings, in black ink and pencil, with peach as a second colour, are simple in shapes. There is relatively little shading, making the line drawings easy to navigate, so the poses and expressions are easily understood.

While the story has its strong points, giving us young love and longing punctuated by painful episodes of bitterness, there are some structural problems. The two sisters strongly resemble each other. In fact, they are easily confused, making the reader retrace to figure out ‘who is who’. And the story runs long. There are a LOT of unnecessary panels, transitions that contribute little to the tension or character development. The book could have been shorter and more powerful if it had been more tightly edited.

Dark Horse, Summer Fires HC, $24.99 for 208 pages, Rated 16+

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!!