Review: Long Walk to Valhalla

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Long Walk to Valhalla
Writer: Adam Smith
Artist: Matthew Fox

Publisher: Archaia
Street: 07.21

The beauty of graphic novels is they are able to do things that movies and books could never get away with. It’s the only medium that can graciously combine bleak, real world settings and situations with high-concept mind-fuckery. Long Walk to Valhalla, the debut novel from writer Adam Smith and artist Matthew Fox takes us to the ugly side of America—a desperate rural area in Arkansas where Rory meets a young girl named Sylvia (who presents herself as a Valkyrie) and is forced to remember his sobering past with his brother Joe. Without ruining too much, Rory has taken on the role of his older brother’s protector; he protects him from their father, unsympathetic friends and, most importantly, fantastical creatures that only he sees. Long Walk to Valhalla is a brilliant debut. The art, the tone, the atmosphere, the subtlety; the entire effort would pass for great for most veterans, but Smith and Fox’s future is bright based on this 140-Page, understated powerhouse. My only issue with the book comes from some of the cliches that the story decides to lean on when it comes to Rory’s family life. It’s a minor problem hidden within a gem of a book. –Blake Leszczynski