“As far as comic books go, we’re so used to developing superhero characters with special powers,” Frattino said. “Some of these stories that we have on superheroes are based on real people, but real people don’t get their time in the sun because we’re used to these fantastical characters.”-io9 Interview
Simon Says is a historical fiction graphic novel inspired and loosely based on the extraordinary life of Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. The graphic novel takes place after the Nuremberg Trials and follows Holocaust survivor Simon and his army companion, Bruno, as they hunt down the Nazis that escaped justice.
Frattino and Lee's talents blend perfectly in Simon Says. Frattino's storytelling has the perfect amount of drama, action, mystery, and suspense. Meanwhile, Lee helps bring everything to life with his detailed black and white illustrations that add a somber mood to the story. Only occasionally using small amounts of red to further drive a point home or to add to the poignant feel of the story.
One thing I especially liked about Simon Says is that the focus of the graphic novel isn't the violence. While there is violence, it's never extremely explicit and the conditions of the concentration camps are never used for shock value. Rather, the focus is instead on the emotions of the characters, the dynamics between them, and how each approaches the past.
I do hope that Frattino and Lee will be able to expand on this work. The characters, suspense, and the story reveals toward the end made this an enjoyable read. I feel that often times it is easy to predict how a graphic novel will end. But with Simon Says, I truly cannot see what awaits Simon and Bruno in the future. Their story is definitely one I want to continue learning about.
My Rating: ????
Amazon | Bookshop