TAĦT is the first comic book published by Graphic Novels Library Malta (GNLM). It is a collaboration between friends with a passion for comics and local talent. The ddea behind it was to bring to the mainstream aspects of Maltese legends and folklore in the comic book medium. Hoping to make Maltese stories more accessible, TAĦT is the first attempt by GNLM to give comic book fans a story inspired by local tales.
Although there are moments were I think it could have done with better pacing and more information filling in what happens between panels (such as the second hedgehog popping out of nowhere or the two protagonists having more of a personality), I’m quite hooked. If this turns out to be a series, I think I would follow it.
The artwork is very reminiscent of the books that made our childhood, in particular artworks on Saghtar in the 90s or children’s books by Trevor Zahra or the artwork in BettaTrombetta or MastruGerfex (the name of the artist escapes me) so it really follows in the spirit of what it is trying to do.
While it is a decent enough concept for a story, it is not good as a standalone thing as the characters would do with more interactions to give them a personality unless Ivan is going for the fairytale angle were the character is bland enough for the reader to “wear” them as a “ficiton suit” (there is such a thing) and explore the word by inserting themselves in the narrative –
Issue 1 is a good enough idea if it is intended as a series to pique anyone’s interest, especially someone who is as finicky with what they read, as I am.
To this end, I encourage the author to expand on this world as it is rife with potential and not close the chapter with the final panel in the comic. It is a solid start to something memorable if it is developed further.
Review by Raphael Borg
Launch of ‘TAĦT’ will be on SATURDAY 12th October 2019 at 10:30am followed by a Q&A and meetup with the creators at the Central Public Library, Floriana
Written by Ivan EllulXuereb
Illustrated by Peter Magro
Edited by Greta EllulXuereb
Translated by Luke Caruana
This Graphic Novels Library Malta comic book is published in English and in Maltese and copies in both languages will be available for sale on the day.