By Joe Decie. Published by Jonathan Cape.
Hardcover, 160 pages, B&W, 2017.
Observer Graphic Novel of the Month
Collecting Sticks is a graphic novel about a family glamping trip. (It's like camping, but much more expensive.) Loosely based on actual events, but sometimes veering unexpectedly into fantasy, the story plays with the challenges nature presents to city folk as they forage for berries, get stuck up a tree, make perilous encounters with stinging wildlife, compete to build the best fire and discover the importance of finding good sticks. Also, it rains. It's about the human desire to get back to nature. Or to return to childhood and hit things with sticks.
Funny, moving, beautifully drawn, Collecting Sticks can stand beside Joff Winterhart’s classic graphic novel of family life, Days of the Bagnold Summer.