Jason Brubaker’s graphic novel ‘reMIND’ is about a cat called Victuals that gets lost and then re-appears washed up on the shore, with a brain injury and the ability to talk. He tells his owner Sonja that he is actually a lizard-man who lived in an underwater world. Yes, it’s a weird weird science-fiction story that mixes elements of fantasy and mysticism.
The artwork of this novel is visually quite stunning, with a blend of water-colour paint style panels. However the plot felt a little bland. While the idea of an underwater world that is inhabited by a human-sized walking lizards with own civilization, complete with kings, guards and scientists was interesting; the novelty of a lizard-world fades out fast enough. Although, the characters of Sonja and Victuals are adorable and when the cat starts talking like a worldly-wise man, it’s pretty humorous and interesting.
Sonja is very endearing as a young independent woman who takes care of the lighthouse in her beach-town ‘Cripple Peak’, which attracts a lot of tourists due to the legend of a ‘Lizard Man’. It was her father who had claimed to have seen a lizard man, sparking a lot of interest in the town. And although Sonja wasn’t sure what her father saw, she dedicated a lot of time in building a suit that could have enabled her father to breathe underwater and look for the legendary ‘lizard man’ he had spotted. When Victuals turns up claiming he is actually a ‘lizard man’ trapped in a cat’s body, the two of them set out on their own adventure.
Brubaker blends old themes like family, love and betrayal into this tale, and even though it’s not predictable, it doesn’t elicit too much excitement in the reader either. And the trickiest bit is the religious angle in the story. The ‘Lizard’ people seem to worship a stone-carving that is believed to have a lot of powers. There is a humorous/witty reveal of the origins of the stone that leans towards atheist beliefs. But Brubaker largely keeps that angle a little ambiguous. Maybe there’s more to it in the next volumes.
Full points for the artwork, but not as much for the story-telling. I don’t think I will be picking up the next volume to this one.
It’s a 2.5/5 from me.