Through Blindness: The Last Days of Light by Billie Scott, review

Through Blindness: The Last Days of Light by Billie Scott, review

Through Blindness

Have you ever wondered what you would do if fate led you to the loss, for example, of a limb? If the question is a bit unsettling, it is probably because reflecting on such a radical event is not easy and for most of our existence we tend not to touch the subject at all (even in a sort of superstitious instinct). The young adult graphic novel The Last Days of Light by Billie Scott, by Zoe Thorogood, however, puts us in front of a similar eventuality, a change so drastic and definitive as to totally change our existence, causing us to change not only our habits , but also our vision of the world. "Vision" that in the case of this intense story can no longer take place through the eyes: the protagonist, Billie, in fact, gradually loses the use of sight. So what to do?

The Last Days of Light by Billie Scott

Billie is an artist. She paints, constantly barricaded in her room, in an apartment she shares with guys who don't even know what she looks like from her. Painting is her passion and her work and, when she is offered the opportunity to exhibit her works at a prestigious gallery, she undertakes day after day to produce the ten works requested. Without success. She therefore decides to put aside her fears of her towards the outside world for a moment and finally leaves the house, looking in the city and in the people who populate her for inspiration for her paintings of her.| ); }

During her wanderings, however, she witnesses a theft and the two criminals who are the perpetrators attack her violently, hitting her in the face. Billie wakes up the next day with her vision invaded by many small dark spots and, only many days later, through a medical examination, she discovers the terrible truth: her eyes have been irreparably compromised and she will gradually lose her sight in a short time. . Billie then makes an important decision: she leaves her house to go wherever the first available train takes her and portray the ten most interesting people she will meet on her journey. A journey in which Billie Scott will meet the most disparate individuals and, on her path towards blindness, she will finally see the beauty of the world in the people who make it up.

Intense, poetic, wonderful

Zoe Thorogood debuts with Billie Scott's Last Days of Light flawlessly. The young adult graphic novel published in Italy by Feltrinelli Comics is a love letter to art and creativity, but also to determination, courage, the desire to get involved with others, to solidarity. Because the truth is that, if alone we can somehow get by, it is only thanks to those around us that our lives acquire that minimum of meaning to be lived. Zoe Thorogood's is a graphic novel that speaks with heart in hand, to anyone who has ever found himself in the despair of loneliness believing that being alone was right and deserved; to all those who did not believe they had more hope; and also to those who find themselves wanting to take a path but feel lost and frightened, facing roads that they do not know how to take.

Because above all else, Billie Scott's Last Days of Light is indeed a graphic novel about possibilities. Billie has no friends, she has cut ties with her family and locked herself in a room trying to produce what she does best: art. However, she does not succeed, she procrastinates, she does not concentrate as she should, but above all she does not seek inspiration elsewhere, outside her four walls and the up a comfort zone. It is only when he realizes that he is about to lose the tool that is most useful to a painter - the eyes - that he realizes how precious the time at his disposal is: every minute that passes can make a difference, to live, have new experiences, listen to stories of others and create, do something that can fill the little gaps in the world with his art. The dark spots that she begins to perceive in her field of vision, more and more abundant as time passes, could also represent this: small black holes which, filling her field of vision with total darkness, nevertheless give her the possibility to fill the empty with something nice.

Billie Scott's Last Days of Light is also surely a delicate and sensitive voice on disability (Billie loses her sight, but on her way she also meets Cook, a man left without an arm who has lost the chance to be a writer). But not only. It is a sincere hug, a poetic encouragement, to all those people who have lost something in a broad sense. Not only physically, then: who has lost an affection, who all the money she owned, who has missed important opportunities. It is a friendly voice that tells us not to waste our time looking for answers that will probably never come, but to never stop, to always look for new possibilities, in our talents and above all in the proximity of others. A sentence spoken by Cook himself to Billie could sum up the emotional strength of this wonderful graphic novel:

You don't need me to tell you how cruel the world is and how demeaning everyday life can be. But if you, crossing it and creating something new, don't care about the circumstances, add to reality something that wasn't there before ... this is incredible. This is powerful.

Original, but there is still room for improvement

With her debut young adult graphic novel, Zoe Thorogood certainly demonstrates that she has an original and distinctive trait. Her tables are populated with countless details, hers is a style with fine and precise lines but "dirty" with many small details that fill every space giving the idea of ​​a world that fills the gaze, all to be observed and discovered. . It is also through this that Thorogood communicates her poetics: that of the many and unexpected experiences that can be had in our life if we accept courageously to open ourselves to the world and its diversity. An idea communicated also thanks to the representation of a rich and diverse city, where the most disparate human types coexist and spaces are filled with all that this fermenting humanity has to offer.

Even in representing human figures, the author of The Last Days of Light by Billie Scott signs her characters with her original style: slender, slender, depicted by distinctive looks that contribute to the excellent narrative characterization , also thanks to the pages of Billie's sketchbook on which she sketches the portraits she will produce. What Thorogood is perhaps still unripe about is the realization of the faces, which often appear very similar to each other: original, therefore, but not too much when it comes to diversifying the facial features of the characters (except in some rare cases). His is, however, a careful aesthetic and certainly to be cultivated, also visible in the choice of using two-tone for his tables, together with a single different color each time, to gradually fill in the details of the various chapters: mustard yellow, coral, aquamarine, turquoise, which do not aggressively impact the illustrations, but accentuate their vitality.

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