Pastrami Graphic Novel Review: Genius

Pastrami Graphic Novel Review: Genius


Review by Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation

Writer: Steven T. Seagle

Artist: Teddy Kristiansen

Publisher: First Second

Release July 2013


What if you were a genius? Having your intelligence far beyond any of your family or peers? Passing grades up by leaps and bounds like it’s a walk in the park? A big fish in a minuet pond? That’s all fine as a child and teen, but as an adult, you become that small fish in an ocean of intelligence: that’s the story of Genius.

Written by Steven T. Seagle, (Man of Action Studio, Ben 10) and drawn by Teddy Kristiansen (It’s a Bird…), Genius brings a story that many wouldn’t think would turn out to be a graphic novel. It helps solidify something I have been saying forever: you can tell any type of story with the comic book medium. There are no heroes in capes here, no titanic battles, and no super villains plotting to end the world. No, we get Ted, our genius protagonist searching for the next big idea, and Albert Einstein.

Not your everyday comic book in any way, shape or form.

Seagle crafts an emotional, gripping tale, as we follow Ted through the slumps of adulthood, and how to make a living for his family. We see his hero worship for Einstein, and we even see how the historic genius ties into Ted’s family, and the moral choice it ultimately brings to light. Kristiansen’s art is scratchy, muted, and a perfect fit for this story. Not traditional comic art in any sense, which is just another reason why this book is so amazing.

This is the kind of book I would recommend to someone who wants to see the diversity of comics, and just how the medium can be used to convey such an emotional tale. I was hooked from the first few pages, and couldn’t let it go until I reached the end. It is seldom when I come across a book that has me thinking about it days after I read it: Genius is one of those books. Highly recommended, I give Genius a perfect FIVE out of FIVE. This is a book that shouldn’t be passed up.

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