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Mudfish is the remarkable new graphic novel from the acclaimed creator of the best selling Hip Hop Family Tree series. But whereas HHFT takes a macro view in telling the story of an entire movement, Mudfish is a revealing biographical study of one boy, Rod Spike, set mostly during his tumultuous years of adolescence. Mudfish is several things: an unflinchingly unsentimental depiction of the confusion and anxiety brought on by adolescence; a frank depiction of growing up in a mixed race household in a predominantly African American neighborhood in Pittsburgh; a harrowing story of suffering from a long-undiagnosed disease that at times seemed certain to cut a life way too short; and a story of a young man whose burgeoning intellectual and creative curiosity makes him acutely aware of a deck stacked against him despite his determination to transcend those limitations.
Mudfish is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, though it never veers into melodrama or sentimentality. It is one of the most brutally frank and darkly comical depictions of childhood and adolescence ever depicted in the comics form, and certain to be one of 2017’s most acclaimed and talked about releases.