Highwayman by author and Illustrator Koren Shadmi
Highwayman is a graphic novel about immortality and the great questions of life. There will be some discussion of the ending, I’ll mark the section with spoilers so you can skip it if you’d like.
Highwayman is an immortal being. He basically wanders the roads of the earth simply looking for anything to see or do or just pass by. He has no great goals or motives. He simply observes.
He’s made it through many civilizations and the current one that we get to witness as the readers is incredibly bleak. There seems to be very little water or food left on the planet. Everything and everywhere is a desolate wasteland just waiting for the last of the living things to die off. Earth is on its way to becoming a barren rock.
Books like these always make me worry about our own current state of affairs. Is this where we’re headed?
Highwayman doesn’t do anything to change that or even comment on it until he finally sees something so disturbing even he doesn’t want to be adjacent to it. But still he just removes himself and continues to wander.
Spoilers Coming Up!
Finally Highwayman enters a vehicle with an odd man inside. The man explains that he’s come to Earth to retrieve his cameras. You see, Highwayman is actually just a recording vessle for this alien race. They document the history of planets and come to get the information right as the last civilization falls to dust.
Highwayman doesn’t want to undergo the process of giving him his cameras because it will kill him. The stranger tries to convince him that there’s nothing left to see he might as well die. Highwayman thinks otherwise. He convinces the stranger to let him stay.
Highwayman sits on a cliff and watches the ocean. And watches the ocean. And watches the ocean. Eventually he’s burried under shifting land masses. But! Somewhere on Earth life has started anew. It takes eons but he’s discovered again and sees more that is worthy of observation. It was worth the wait.
End of Spoilers!
This graphic novel is quite a different take on immortality than we usually see. Often we are told only how depressing, sad, and hopeless immortality can be. You watch everyone you love die over and over again. You outlive everything of value.
But Highwayman manages to find hope in a bleak future. It shines its light on the meaning of life rather than the futility. It’s quite a nice change of pace.
Highwaman is a turn on science fiction that embraces what it means to be alive. I recommend it to anyone and everyone, even if you’ve never liked science fiction or graphic novels before.
4/5 highways 🛣🛣🛣🛣
If you like Highwayman you might also like Alter Ego: The Other Me
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Buy it here: Highwayman
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