15th Oct2019

‘The Book of Forks’ Graphic Novel Review

by Chris Cummings

Created by Rob Davis | Published by SelfMadeHero | Format: Paperback, 200pp


If you haven’t read the previous books, then I urge you to check them out, click the link at the end of this review to find out why. This book, The Book of Forks, is the third in The Motherless Oven Trilogy, is the final chapter in an obscurity of a series by Rob Davis (The Complete Don Quixote).

Sticking with the delectable visuals from his previous two books, and in that same obscure style of storytelling, we meet up with Castro Smith, who is imprisoned in a Power Station where he has bizarre interactions with a young woman called Poly, and we’re unsure of who exactly she is to Castro. We also see Vera and Scarper, who we know from The Motherless Oven and The Can Opener’s Daughter, searching for their missing pal. It’s as mysterious, weird and, at times, creepy, as the prior graphic novels were, and fits like a sword fits into its sheath with those other stories. Witnessing Catro writing The Book of Forks, chapter by chapter is mesmerisingly fantastical and as peculiar as you’d expect, and it’s written with deep thought and care by Davis who has built this wonderful odd world and birthed these funny, strange characters that are hard to look away from. There are so many interesting characters here, and whether we’re watching their interactions of seeing them set sail on their adventures, it’s never dull and never loses its way.

It’s one of those books, exactly like the previous two, that is almost impossible to traditionally “review” due to how deep, complex and bat-shit insane it is. There’s also the worry of “spoilers” when it comes to a third part of a trilogy, so I will just say… if you enjoyed the other two, then you need to complete the trio and grab this one, for sure.

This was a worthy completion of the abstract trilogy that Davis aimed to create, bringing so much imagination and creativity to the table once again. That’s what I’ve really got out of this whole series of books, just how creative and unusual Rob Davis’ work is here, and for every moment you understand the metaphor and wink, for every laugh you get from the daft moments, and for every part that makes you feel uneasy, you get this feeling that you’re experiencing something truly unique, and absolutely its own thing, unadulterated, unapologetic and real. The truth in the voice shines through each page from the first moments of The Motherless Oven to the closing moments of The Book of Forks, and it’s bleeding fantabulous.

Furiously original and over-flowing with innovation and offbeat ideas, The Book of Forks, like it’s predecessors, is a visual feast as well as a banquet for the grey matter. Captivating and borderline enchanting, I thought this was a luminescent black-and-white treat, and a sterling closing chapter to The Motherless Oven Trilogy. Rob Davis is an unorthodox wizard of invention, and this trilogy could very well be his career masterpiece.

***** 5/5

Check out my review of The Motherless Oven and The Can Opener’s Daughter right here.


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