Avery Hill Publishing always manages to find talent that is able to craft such beautiful stories. Kristyna Baczynski is no exception. Her graphic novel Retrograde Orbit is a poetic story that will tug on your heartstrings as it delves into finding oneself and a place to belong.
The story follows Flint, a young girl whose grandmother was forced to leave their home planet due to a nuclear event long before she was born. Now, she lives on the planet Tisa with her mother and grandmother in the colony of Swift Springs. Flint struggles with prejudices daily as she continues to dream of the home she has never known. But as the years pass, an opportunity arises that could change her life forever. But is she willing to sacrifice everything she knows and loves for the sake of this opportunity?
Baczynski has crafted an elegant story everyone can relate to as they try to find their place in the world and where they truly belong. Flint is a girl who longs for something more, who feels as though where she lives now is not truly her home. For her, finding home is finding who she is and sense of belonging in a world that does not fully accept her. Everyone has been through that moment where it is time to leave the nest and must struggle with the balance of finding a new place to call home while also staying in touch with family. It’s a poetic take on something any reader can relate to. Flint is a strong, believable character whose story will touch any reader who wishes to open the pages of this graphic novel.
If there is one thing story-wise that really sticks out with this graphic novel, it’s the family dynamic of Flint’s family. The relationship between her, her mother, and grandmother is touching. This is a family that you want to see succeed and to thrive. There is no overtly opposing force in Flint’s family, everyone provides nothing but love and support for one another. It’s an important component to have in a story like this.
The artwork is also magnificent. The various hues that blanket each chapter serve as not only an excellent indication of movement in time but also as a visual representation of Flint’s journey as she gets closer to her goal, one planet at a time. The overall character designs are unique and interesting and, once again, there is a clear visual representation of Flint’s character as she grows older through her various hair styles.
We really cannot say enough about Retrograde Orbit. It’s a story to help readers find their sense of belonging and home. It’s beautifully crafted and one you simply cannot miss. If you’re a fan of independent comics, this is something you will definitely want to check out.