Petals by Gustavo Borges | A Stunning Story Told With No Words

Written & Illustrated by Gustavo Borges
Colors by Cris Peter
BOOM! Studios imprint KaBOOM!

The most complex topics are sometimes better off discussed without words because without them we are able to see what is all underneath. When we speak we sometimes miss what is most important, and those impending missed opportunities are the actions behind what is being said. Simply put, there is something special being said here in this 3-year-old crowdfunded comic entitled Petals (originally published as Pétalas). No words, no thought bubbles, and no dialogue but with a rather small amount of lettered grunts, cries and bellows, this is a story worth passing down through generations to come. 

Author and artist, Gustavo Borges, was more notably known in the Brazilian comic market as a webcomic artist and illustrator who was looking for a deeper format to tell a larger story. His journey ended with his finding Cris Peter, Eisner nominated Brazilian colorist, to color what would eventually become a 2015 crowdfunded success story. The success is it surpassing it's financial goal tenfold! That is something in itself to be told... asking for five but getting fifty. It's a breath of fresh air to read about such happy endings to passion projects that positively impact the world and with Petals, there will without much doubt be positive influence to come. 

In this story, we are introduced to a family of foxes and a seemingly lost wanderer among the snowy landscape of the forest. The wanderer, a tall and rather well-dressed bird of sorts, takes it upon himself to become caretaker for the fox in the story battling illness. This wanderer represents everything that we as humans ought to strive to become, someone who thinks nothing of themselves other than to assist the uplifting of others. It is a beautifully illustrated and thoughtful story created as a reminder for those who strive so intently to be someone they oftentimes don't resemble through their own misrepresented and ill-willed actions. We are all human, we make mistakes, and the animals in this story are here to teach us all a lesson in humanity. Strap in.

The story is simple and it is concise, it is revealing and it has a layered parable so thick beneath the silent nature of its core that it should make the most introspective of people consider how often they truly risk themselves at the benefit of others. (Or how often they should, rather.) It's a simple concept lost in modern culture to assist those around you by any means personally capable. So often it is shown that to be selfish is to be a success or to be a man you must be rigid and detached. As a community of inhabitants on this rock, we can quickly lose sight in the meaning and importance of a collective solidarity and hospitality toward others. This is a story that reminds us of its importance. This is a parable of others over self. This is a lesson of life teaching humble selfless actions of love and nurture for our fellow man in a time that this world is in desperate need of a reminder. 

During this holiday season keep this book in mind as you shop for those on your list who enjoy printed stories. This is a beautiful and oversized hardcover comic book that would look great on bookshelves all over the world and among any age bracket. Currently, my copy of Petals has a permanent home atop my coffee table for guests of all ages to thumb through as they stop by. It's a quick read and a hearty story intended to warm the soul and encourage all to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. 

- @argyleeater