Clementine Book Two

Image Comics. Oct. 2023. 296p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781534325197.
Gr 8 Up–Clem’s, Ricca’s, and Olivia’s journeys of survival continue in the second volume of Walden’s “Walking Dead” spin-off. Following the events on the mountain, all three girls now have additional traumas to reconcile and increased strain due to their physical conditions. Clem’s need for a prosthetic leg and Ricca’s for glasses create specific challenges in a hostile postapocalyptic world. Things begin to brighten when they end up on an island commune, but trust doesn’t come easily. While Clem has begun to acknowledge and even take steps forward from her accumulated trauma, peace actually disturbs her. Accompanying a more introspective plot, even the black-and-white illustrations introduce a reflective tone to the bleak survivalist mindset. At well-placed points though, life’s disappointments return, often due to the “walkers,” and the black inks swell to swallow everyone whole. Despite all this, the graphic novel keeps reminding readers to live life and form bonds. Fear of tomorrow should not keep one from love, growth, and fulfillment.
VERDICT Volume two capitalizes on its character growth to deliver an affecting graphic novel about growing up in the zombie apocalypse.

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