In the fall of last year, SLG released Gerry Alanguilan's graphic novel Elmer, which had previously appeared in four comics volumes in the Philippines. Elmer received starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. As PW wrote, "It is not until we are several pages into the book that we discover that [the main character] is also a talking, thinking chicken. He is no anomaly; decades earlier, all of chickenkind suddenly gained intelligence and speech; by the 2000s they are legally human. Jake's father's illness and subsequent death lead Jake to read his father's account of the early days after the change; this in turn allows Alanguilan to show the reader the often horrific sequence of events that followed chickenkind's sudden elevation to sapience. The gorgeous b&w art, full of lush pen work and strong expressions, takes what should be a self-evidently ludicrous proposition and somehow imbues it with plausibility."
Elmer is a poignant and original graphic novel, complex and deep. Given its unique qualities, it seemed like a good candidate for the troika of blogger reviews that myself, Larry Nolen, and Paul Charles Smith have engaged in for Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps , Matt Bell's story collection How They Were Found, and Michael Cisco's The Narrator. Here're some excerpts from those reviews to give you further triangulation and, hopefully, make it clear this title deserves your attention.