Nuclear Winter, written and illustrated by Cab (Caroline Breault), is a dystopian story with a twist. Being a twenty-something in a large city is tough enough—imagine it with radioactive snow. With witty, smart characters and eye-catching illustrations, Nuclear Winter is an earnest story of people making do in a unique situation and continuing on with the new norm. It’s entertaining, funny, and sweet.

A nuclear catastrophe leaves Montreal in a perpetual radioactive winter state. Life goes on, and the residents of the city have adapted to their new way of life. Cars are no longer the best mode of transportation and snowmobiles rule the road. Flavie is one of the best couriers around. She ventures deep into the most treacherous parts of the city to deliver whatever is needed. While outgoing in her work life, Flavie doesn’t like to socialize and would much rather spend her free time at home. During one of the regular massive snow storms, Flavie is the only courier willing to go out and deliver. She delivers bagels to Marco, a local hipster celebrity who lives in a very remote part of town. From there, Flavie and Marco experience an adventure, fighting off mutated creatures and girlfriends and befriending the local fauna. Flavie proves to be more than meets the eye and her self-imposed anti-social behavior finally starts to make sense. How long will this winter last? Only time with tell.

Nuclear Winter is a delightfully witty romp. The reaction to a perpetual winter feels real. The world is slightly more dangerous, but people have adapted in a regular way. It is dystopian, yes, but this new Montreal isn’t exactly post-apocalyptic. The world continues even after an unnatural natural disaster. It’s the most probable conclusion to an environmental disaster. The characters are written thoughtfully and are imbued with a subtle humor that endears them immediately to the reader.

The artwork of Nuclear Winter is eye-catching and vibrant. Cab does a wonderful job incorporating the nuclear disaster into the illustrations. There is a constant greenish hue in the atmosphere to remind readers that nuclear fallout is still very much an issue. Those physically affected by the radiation have a plethora of mutations, some more subtle than others. The illustrations and writing work together very well. They lift each other up and push the story to its open-ended conclusion.

Nuclear Winter is appropriate for readers 13+ due to some cartoony violence. Nuclear Winter would likely be enjoyable to readers of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds and Scott Pilgrim series as well as Kirsten Smith’s Misfit City.

Nuclear Winter, vol. 1
By Cab
ISBN: 9781684151639
Boom!Box, 2018
Publisher Age Rating: Teen +

  • Krista

    Past Reviewer

    Krista Miller- Ravenclaw, Whovian, and Whedonite- is an Adult Services Librarian at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District in Poughkeepsie, NY where she maintains the Adult Graphic Novel collections and creates adult programming.Her current favorite graphic novels include the Saga series, the Sex Criminal series, and Blankets. Krista credits her years toiling as a bookseller for Barnes and Noble for peaking her interest in graphic novels and librarianship in general. She graduated with her MLIS from SUNY Buffalo in 2017. She hopes to one day host a comic con at her library and to incorporate more pop culture and geeky programming at work. When she is not working as a Punk-Ass Book Jockey, Krista can be found enjoying the local craft beer scene, dancing in the pit at nearby concert venues, and climbing mountains.

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