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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Seeds is a graphic novella written and illustrated by Iqbal Hussain Ali, with gray scale artwork by Dima Blue. As an old man, Salim has traveled back to where his life changed so drastically when he was young. He and his friend, Ahmed, had found a marvelous system of caverns, but they were both ensnared by strange vines that grew within. Now Salim is old and he has trouble remembering and keeping his mind focused on his goal. His boat and crew are met by a man who tells them to leave before nightfall as the area is not safe. He finally relents and offers them safe harbor for the night. Salim goes out into the darkness to find his ancient foe, a strange creature who Salim feels should no longer be here on this world. Salim has spent his life finding the means to finally banish him.
Iqbal Hussain Ali’s graphic novella, Seeds, is a fascinating tale that is accompanied by stunning artwork. I found Salim’s quest to be mysterious and compelling, and the atmosphere of the story is brooding and powerful. I was totally mesmerized, however, by the artwork. It’s filled with stark, iconic images, and the nighttime outdoor scenes are incredible. At times, the panels featuring luxuriant plant life seem three-dimensional, and some of the more intricate panels would make marvelous posters. Ali’s novella requires the reader’s active participation in what becomes a shared experience among author, Salim and the reader, and it’s well worth the jump into this strange and otherworldly reality. Seeds has certainly given me a lot to think about, and the artwork is brilliant. Seeds is highly recommended.