No Pasaran
by Vittorio Giardino
(NBM, 2000)

Max the spy searches for a friend during the Spanish Civil War (pre-dating World War II). A colleague is caught up in battle just as that friend's interest in a female journalist deepens. This and vivid details of war paint a struggle to stop fascism as Nazi Germany sharpens its claws and tests its mettle on a world in denial.

Undeniable is the high quality of this book that gives equal value to characterization, setting, pacing, plot and dialogue. No Pasaran is that most rare commodity, a true graphic novel.

Of particular note is its psuedo-realistic pacing. All pacing in literature only approximates the passing of time, of course. The goal of any artist is that their work smacks of real time. No Pasaran smacks.

Its pseudo-realistic art also adds to the illusion of pinch-me-this-is-happening-now. Need I point out that all art is pseudo-realistic?

No Pasaran joins the growing number of NBM graphic novels that are highly recommended for mature readers.

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 2 August 2003

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