Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel

The Flying Grayson’s have been a part of Haly’s Circus for many years and things have been mostly good. But the economy is tight, there’s more competition for people’s dollars, and frankly, Dick is bored. On the road in Wyoming they set up next to a carnival. The Lost Carnival is full of magic and mystery… and a girl who Dick just has to see again.

As conflicts rise between the two camps, Dick finds himself caught in the middle between his new love interest, Luciana, and his family. His best friend Willow is the circus’s magician’s apprentice who tries to give good advice, but Grayson’s mind is on escaping his lot in life and trying to maybe get Luciana to run away with him. There are so many themes running through this book: coming-of-age, escaping one’s past, finding the right place in life, finding love, etc. Things do get a little jumbled in the telling though.

I guess I liked the idea of this graphic novel. It seemed like an opportunity to tell a bit about Grayson’s backstory and personality before he meets up with Bruce Wayne. And maybe how he experiences magic and is ready for this type of opposition in his next life. But I felt the story was thrown off by a bad villain and congested rising action.

The artwork was well done. The sketch work was impressive and connected well with all the Flying Grayson action. Fun and light. I did have a little problem with the coloring though. Haly’s Circus was filled with a small palette of blues and grays, and The Lost Carnival was also limited by just two or three shades of orange and yellow. I felt like the story could have moved forward with a larger array of color to show depth in setting and character. It was disappointing. I could see the style but it wasn’t for me.

A YA graphic novel that looks into the backstory of Dick Grayson… unfortunately, I was left wanting many times throughout the book.

2.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, DC Comics, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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