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Luuna: Volume 1    by Didier Crisse & Nicolas Keramidas order for
by Didier Crisse
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Tokyopop has expanded their line, not only bringing Japanese and Korean manga to North America, but also now some of the best graphic novels from around the world. One of the first such offerings is the European graphic novel Luuna by Didier Crisse and Nicolas Keramidas.

Luuna, the daughter of the chief of the Paumanok tribe, has reached the age when she must go on her vision quest and find her totem. Accompanied by three animal sprites (Wombat, Wambat, and Wimlat), Luuna sets off to learn her totem. On the way, an owl warns her that it is not a good night for a vision quest because it's the night of a lunar eclipse and belongs to Unkui, the Evil One. Unkui fights with Hohopah, the Heart of the Forest, for Luuna's soul, eventually coming to the compromise that one night a month, she will belong to him. Because of this new duality of her soul, she is given two totems, a white wolf and a black wolf. Now Luuna must set off on her own quest to release her soul from Unkui.

I have to admit that I was surprised to find a European graphic novel telling a tale of Native Americans. However, Crisse's story gives a unique look at former Native American life, adding fantasy to the myths, to create a tale that pulls the reader in. Keramidas' artwork is stunning, almost looking like a cartoon put on paper. Each panel is detailed and helps to further the story. Luuna is a dark but different tale with plenty of humor and a good message at its heart. This was a great beginning for Tokyopop's foray into European graphic novels.

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