In Review: ‘Nightlights’ by Lorena Alvarez

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez - Cover

Created by Lorena Alvarez
Published by NoBrow Press. Full Colour. 54 Pages – Hardback.

The Story: Every night, tiny lights appear out of the darkness in Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning she brings them back to life in her whimsical drawings. When a mysterious new girl appears at school, Sandy’s drawings are noticed for the first time… but Morfie’s fascination with Sandy’s talent soon turns into something far more sinister.

Blending the reality of a strict Catholic school with a young girl’s boundless imagination, Nightlights is a beautiful story about fear, insecurity, and creativity, from the enchanting mind of Lorena Alvarez.

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez - Sample 5

The Review: If I were a betting man, I would lay a large amount of cash down that you would be very hard pressed to find a more beautifully illustrated book than NightlightsThis is an all ages graphic novel of whirling and mesmerizing art that will capture your eye at the first glance. Upon opening my preview copy, I immediately fell in love with every line and colour of this magnificent all ages fairy tale. It’s told with some cunning and oh so slightly edgy storytelling that can’t help but pull you in.

Nightlights offers is page after page of intricately imagined designs and art that captures every single glorious emotion in the story, following a young girl called Sandy who is plucky and single-minded, with all the spark and guts of NoBrow’s other young female character, Hilda. This young heroine however has an aptitude for art doodling who seems a little bit restless, until she meets a strange purple headed girl. It’s then that the world explodes in fireworks around her and the reader.

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez - Sample 3

Don’t worry about big blockbuster movies, variant hip hop/ cat/ cosplay covers, trendy redesigns or constant soft reboots. A book like Nightlights is what will get kids reading comics. A book like this will grow new and young readers as well as keeping the medium fresh and vibrant. This is genuinely a significant piece of art to be looked at again and again. This is also a comic with real heart.

The action is played out with all the ballet of great animation and never speaks down to the reader. It is at times flippant, funny and true but also explores the slightly scary world of a kids imagination. That imagination that we should never have let go of as we grew up and became “sensible”.

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez - Sample 4

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez - Sample 6Parents will revel in every single panel of art and their children will dive head long into the tremendously original world between its covers.

Nightlights is released on Saturday 1st October 2016 and can be ordered from the NoBrow Website here.  You can follow what other books this great company have coming out by following them on Twitter here

Many thanks for reading.

About the author

Lorena Alvarez was born and raised in Bogotá, and studied Graphic Design and Arts at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She has illustrated for children books, independent publications, advertising and fashion magazines. Since 2008, she has been part of “La Procesión Puppet Club”, an experimental puppetry group of illustrators and visual artists. As well as Nightlights, her many credits include illustrations for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 2014 and Little Red Riding Hood, released in June 2016.

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