Review: Celeste by I.N.J. Culbard

On a lark (mostly because there was an astronaut on the cover) I borrowed the graphic novel “Celeste” by I.N.J. Culbard from the library. The premise is really clever – it follows three people who suddenly discover they’re the only people left on the planet. There’s a particularly lovely Powers-Of-Ten opening that starts at the edge of the universe and slowly zooms into earth.

The setup and the settings and characters are all really interesting, but the third act of the storyline (in all three character’s storylines) just went totally over my head. I have the feeling that for the artist the ending is full of meaning, but I found it really difficult to make any sense of the abstract narrative that unfolds. I felt like maybe I could hit up the internet for some answers, but discovered that I’m not the only person who found it confounding.

I wasn’t in love with the art (it was well executed, but the style didn’t appeal to me), and you could make some valid criticism that the nudity felt a bit gratuitous, but I’d still recommend it for the experience of reading a storyline that doesn’t go anywhere you think it will. It felt a bit like an unsatisfying dream, and that was weird to get from a book.

CelesteCulbard