Cathy Malkasian has delighting fans with her illustrations and allegories for a long time from The wild Thornberry’s movie to 2021’s Nobody likes you Greta grump and she is once again displaying her artistic talents in her latest work The Heavy Bright.
She takes her soft pencils and lush water colors which conjure a child hood innocence and uses them to tell a tale of redemption, and sacrifice. The Heavy bright takes place in a world that has been driven to madness from items that bring out the worst in mankind. Violence, domination, and prejudice have arisen and the only hope is a return to balance and the wisdom of the past. We follow Arna a lone girl who must travel the world in search of 99 black eggs and purify them to bring an end to the suffering.
The best thing about the story is how it succeeds on multiple levels; at one reading it is a story of a woman’s quest to save the world and be reunited with the woman she loves. Scratch just a little deeper and it is a feminist allegory of how we should be fighting against evil systems and patriarchy that maintain a dark hold on our own world. The book rewards you for reading it multiple times and letting you sink into its themes as well as its story.
You can pick it up at https://www.fantagraphics.com/products/the-heavy-bright