Review by Matthew Nielsen
The Book of Hope by Tommi Musturi follows the life, thoughts, memories, and daydreams of a middle-aged Finnish couple living in the countryside. It focuses initially on the husband but later features the wife as well.
The story feels slow but, at the same time, also like it’s happening over a long period of time. In a way, this does fit the mood of some people in the latter half or third of their lives spending time together in a peaceful, but also uneventful, countryside. The artwork in the book provides excellent examples of sequential comics illustration. Musturi has done a great job with the comics medium, and many pages could be extracted on their own as fine pieces of visual sequential art. The style itself is bold and consistent, reminiscent of various contemporary North American cartoons.
Though in the end I didn’t find the story that interesting, I greatly enjoyed the use of sequential art. The Book of Hope is a very good utility for art students, especially those in the fields of illustration and comics. As for storytelling, the graphic novel is good in some ways but could be better in others.