By Dustin Cabeal
Snow Day is one of those stories that you can love, but at the same time acknowledge its flaws. Its flaws don’t make it bad, but rather they just point out how familiar the story is.
We open in a small town, and we see how the day starts. It seems simple and calm, partially due to the fresh blanket of snow covering the town. A car speeds to a stop in front of the police station and out steps Ross, it’s unclear at this point in the story who he is, but I can tell you that he’s the owner of the refinery that acts as the only real source of employment for the town. Spencer, the town sheriff, has locked up three of Ross’ men. The Mayor shows up and punches Spencer in the face and frees the three men after Spencer’s refusal.
As the story goes one, we find out that Spencer has had enough of the corruption in town and that these three men are union busters. They pick fights with the workers to show a sign of force from the higher ups. There’s more, though. Spencer might be the “Davey” standing up to the “Goliath,” but he has motives of his own. What first seems like a cut and dry story becomes one about a man that’s been put down more than he’s been raised up.
The story is paced well. Granted it’s familiar, man on his last straw doing whatever he can to turn a town around and ignore the very law he’s promised to protect. It’s Spencer’s characterization that makes the story stand out from the rest. I say that while realizing that the characterization is what always makes these stories stand out, but if it works, it works. The pacing is also very sharp. The story isn’t told in chronological order per say. We find out more and more of Spencer’s motives through flashbacks, but the flashbacks are perfectly placed with the present storyline unfolding before our eyes.
The artwork looks very inspired by early European comics like Tin Tin. It’s in all black and white and while that seems like a cheat given how much snow is in the story, but artist Antoine Aubin understands the contrast needed between the black and white colors. What struck me while reading was how Aubin was able to convey the feeling of cold. He gives you genuine chills while reading.
Snow Day is a quick read, but one that is very enjoyable. It wasn’t the most original story, but it’s so well-crafted that it shines above that. If you’re looking for a beautiful story that’s well told, then look no further than Snow Day.
Writer: Pierre Wazem
Artist: Antoine Aubin
Translator: Mark Bence