I just love Aimée de Jongh’s work, I have been a fan of her since Snippers. I have met her once at Animecon. So I was hyped about her newest work, Days of Sand. So a big thank you for Netgalley for putting it on your site so I could read it!
This book is wonderful. Gorgeously drawn and featuring a great character, a man (or is he more a boy given how inexperienced he is in many things) named John. He gets a shiny new job. Well, shiny. It sounds shiny. His first big job as photographer. He is going to be photographing the Dust Bowl so that the public will see what is going on. He is going to find out that dust and sand gets everywhere and that bringing a shovel is the one equipment he should have thrown into his car when he left.
I loved seeing the Dust Bowl, it is such a desolate place, sand and dust everywhere. But I was also horrified. Yes, it looked pretty. But the damage and hurt it did to people just countered all that beauty. We see how hard everyone is struggling. How houses are half eaten by the sand and dust. How land just has disappeared. How storms happen. Little kids with gasmasks and people without any fat on their bones. It was horrifying. I just wanted to step into the story and hand out food and water to these people and their families. I can imagine that people would flee. Would take their family, some meagre supplies and just go.
We see how John is faring in the midst of this. Trying to shoot his photographs. Figure out where to get food and how to get rid of the sand that gets everywhere. Finding out that standing in a big dust storm at night may not be the best idea. Trying to befriend people. Including a sweet little boy who is very happy with the cornbread that John has and is willing to help him out. I hope we see more of this little kid in the next book. And the same goes for Betty, a kick-ass woman.
I also love that the question arises, should you stage photography or should you keep it natural? He has a list to finish, and he is struggling with it. He wants to follow the list, but that means staging. It was an interesting question and I hope that we see more of it in the next volume of this series. I am curious what John will decide in the end. Will he throw away his script and just show the raw and unstaged reality of the Dust Bowl… or will he go for the list. I do hope that John decides to go for the first one.
Oh, and I just have to mention this as well, I loved the photographs that we got throughout the book. I would definitely like more of them!
The art was just amazing, I love how much Aimée has grown over the years. She always made beautiful things, but it keeps getting more beautiful each new project, and I love it!
I would highly recommend this gorgeous and at times heart-breaking book. I cannot wait for the next part of this series. I want it now!