Author – Norm Konyu
Pages – 176
Publishing Information – Titan Comics, 12th April 2022.
Graphic Novel | Fantasy, Mystery
When a missing child, Lucas Jones, reappears on his Uncle’s doorstep in his hometown of Medford after an absence of 12 years, the brief moment of joy is clouded by mystery. Where has he been? Where is his father who disappeared at the same time? And how is it possible that Lucas is still 11 years old?
As Lucas is uncommunicative, it is left to Detective Sergeant David King and child psychologist Jean Symonds to attempt to find some answers from the few belongings Lucas returned with; little more than four Polaroids and a personal journal which speaks of his time in a place called ‘The Junction’.
The story unravels through interviews, medical and police reports, and ultimately, through visits to The Junction via the pages of Lucas’ diary, jumping back and forth in time, revealing pieces of the puzzle in a mystery that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end.
The One Sentence Review
A beautifully designed graphic novel debut from Norm Konyu which is in equal measures beautiful, touching, eerie, thought-provoking and imaginative.
I finished this excellent graphic novel around a week ago, and waiting a short while before writing a review can have the benefit of highlighting the things that really stick out in the memory.
For me, this was the eerie, dream-like quality of the story and the striking artwork.
The story is the perfect length, an engaging mystery that keeps you intrigued, the dream-like quality coming through Lucas’ flashbacks in his diary entries and the way in which he describes events to the child psychologist he is assigned to.
There is gloomy, melancholy atmosphere running through the book too, both visually and through the events that unfold. The art design and subtle specks of humour stop the vibe from transferring to the reader in any negative way though, and there is in fact a real beauty to it that gave me that cosey, comfort read sort of feeling.
Parts of the book actually made feel really emotional and there are themes of family loss some readers may be more affected by than others, but I’d challenge anyone not to feel some degree of emotional reaction to the book – surely one of the reasons we read; to feel something?
Speaking of which, I feel The Junction has broad appeal in this respect as you can look deeply for metaphors and meanings with perhaps more depth than they first appear, with it being very thought provoking. Alternatively, you can have just as much enjoyment taking the story at face value as a piece of entertainment and becoming engaged in the mystery without having to think any further.
I must point out that I’m no art expert nor am I a seasoned graphic novel reader. As such, I don’t know the art styles and techniques to throw in when I’m praising the graphics, but I can say they are fantastic. The use of colour is beautiful, with fairly simple-looking 2D characters put together with big heads and skinny limbs, and gorgeous settings that really leap out at the eye.
I’d 100% read any next graphic novel that Norm Konyu creates; this was a real feast for the eyes, brain and heart.