Graphic Novel Review: In the Small by Michael Hague

With the increase in popularity of graphic novels published by mainstream publishers, author and illustrator Michael Hague will be one of the names to know in this rapidly growing genre.  Hachette Books Group recently sent me a review copy of his debut graphic novel, In the Small, which I venture to guess will be the first of several more to come in this series.  The story was already optioned as a feature film by Weed Road Pictures, prior to the book’s release.

In the Small is set is an apocalyptic alternate history where humans have suddenly been shrunk to the size of approximately six inches tall, while the rest of the world and the creatures in it have remained unchanged.  Those who lived through the initial dramatic “fall” are left to survive by whatever means possible, as they are hunted by former house pets and faced with impending hunger, thirst, and injuries as a result of this new reality.

A few unconventional individuals rise to the challenge and become leaders in this new world.  Many choose to band together — some whose motives may lead towards the rebuilding of civilization and others whose savage actions may ultimately destroy it.

The Blue Flash had reduced mankind to feeble insignificance — a mere one-twelfth of its former size…

Centuries of technological and mechanical advances were rendered useless.

There was no one to extinguish the fires.  No one to tend to the injured.  No one to restore order.

The remnants of civilization were everywhere, but civilization as it was, was gone… Forever.

Many soon found what it was like to be at the bottom of the food chain.  Many lost their will to live.  But some, despite all the terrible hardships, were determined to find the strength needed to survive.

Marketed for adults and teens over the age of twelve, Hague’s illustrations are dark and ominous, not sparing the more tragic episodes of what might actually happen in this extraordinary scenario.  He has clearly given much thought and planning to the details of such a plot-line, as evidenced by the well developed relationships, believable hardships, and profound impact that can be found in various scenes throughout the book.

Hague is also a notable illustrator of children’s books, whose projects include the centennial edition of Peter PanThe Wind in the Willows, The Hobbit, and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, to name a few.

3 comments

  1. But it does rather suggest that he’s been reading/watching The Borrowers while coming up with it. Hmm, I wonder if he’s any relation to William?

  2. He did an illustrated version of “The Borrowers,” and gave a nod to it as a sort of joke reference within “In the Small.” The primary difference is that “In the Small” is a much darker story, and all of humans on the entire planet are shrunk.

  3. wow, thanks. i’m so out of touch on the graphic novel market these days…michael hague has always been one of my favorite illustrators. he has a great mother goose under his belt, too. i’ve always loved his faeries.

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