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The Bend Of Luck

Peter and Maria Hoey
TopShelf
$19.99

Any luck so far? Lucky at cards, unlucky in love. Luck is what you make it. Those are only three cliches about how we humans think about the concept of luck. One of Frank Sinatra’s most memorable songs personifies luck as a lady being wooed by a debonair gambler to favor him with fortune. The bi-coastal comics making team of siblings Peter and Maria Hoey consider the concept of luck in their newest graphic novel titled The Bend Of Luck.

The world the Hoeys have created appears identical to ours except for one crucial difference. In the aftermath of Earth’s formation luck became a tangible substance. More precious than gold, its scarcity of these gleaming nuggests is impacted by the reality that they evaporate upon contact with air. The narrative is split between two seemingly unconnected events. One tale set in the past recounts the happenstance discovery of a small cache luck by a gold prospector and his subsequent travails and adventures caused by a fellow prospector. The other tale in the present day follows a wife as she comes to terms with the fate of her missing husband. Suspense builds with each successive cut between the past and present until the Hoeys reveal the mystery connecting the prospector and the woman is through her missing husband.

The Hoeys have presented some of their prior works in different formats. Take The Loud Atlas and Blue Moon Flower Blue for example which are accordion style books. Another example is the Chuck Berry’s Revenge comic designed to imitate old 45 records single packaging. Measuring a little more than 8 1/2 inches square, The Bend Of Luck becomes an object, implicitly a treasure box waiting to reveal itself to whomever finds and opens it. Once opened it takes on the quality of an adult sized version of a child’s picture book. To my eye their stylized art combines the aesthetics of woodblock printing and vintage advertising with a decorative color sensibility that makes for very pleasing visuals. Having studied printmaking in art school (primarily lithography) and made a few book objects including accordion books, I very much appreciate the limited edition works they’ve made as well as their stylistic achievement on an essentially mass produced book albeit from a boutique imprint which remains true to its own artistic roots.

The day I began reading The Bend Of Luck was the same day the Megamillions Lotto jackpot reached over one billion dollars. Of course I started thinking of what I would do with such a large amount of money but the odds weren’t even the least bit in my favor that night. Reading this story gave me pause to reflect on the randomness of events, serendipitous turns, and the nature of luck in my life. The Bend Of Luck should appeal to readers looking for introspective stories which in this instance end on a happy note.

Look for The Bend of Luck at your local comic shop or bookstore. Ask to order it with the ISBN 978-1603095099. Order it through Bookshop or Indiebound. Alternatively, order a print or digital copy from Amazon.

Check out their Coin-Op Books site to see other works by the creators.

Please enjoy this teaser preview of The Bend Of Luck!

August 2, 2022
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