REVIEW: The Wayfarin’ Stranger Meets the Lady Pirate Is a Song in Pictures

A symbol comprised of a pirate's sword, a banjo, and a horn crossed over water

Beautifully painted with soft, flowing watercolours, The Wayfarin’ Stranger Meets the Lady Pirate reads like a song for the eyes.

The Wayfarin’ Stranger Meets the Lady Pirate

Adam Kobetich
Gator Horse Studios
2020

Close up of a person with curly shoulder-length hair wearing a hat with a big feather. Behind them, a small boat sails on the ocean

I’ve already witnessed Adam Kobetich’s skills as a painter and a storyteller with his The Shadow Under the Leaf, so I am not the least bit surprised to be equally moved by the visceral beauty of The Wayfarin’ Stranger Meets the Lady Pirate. In The Shadow Under the Leaf, my only significant critique was in the variety of fonts used, but here, Kobetich foregoes words all together and allows the imagery to drift the story along its currents.

The title of The Wayfarin’ Stranger Meets the Lady Pirate is simple and to the point. There are no further secrets to what this story offers. No mysteries to unravel beyond what your imagination might choose to add to the journey of these two people. One is a minstrel who plays his song on a cliffside overlooking the ocean. The other is a lady pirate, alone on her tiny ship, with the Jolly Roger flown proudly. They pass each other on a regular basis, never much paying attention to see beyond or the music within, until one day, by chance, they happen to turn their heads at the right time, and their eyes finally meet.

I have always been fascinated by synesthesia, though I do not personally experience it. This story feels like coming close to the experience of being able to see music and feel it, even though I cannot hear it. There are notes on the page in places, and though I am not skilled enough to recognize them, I can get a sense of the ebb and flow of a melody that matches the waves. As the two characters come together in subsequent encounters, their duet expands in form and colours. Sometimes the artistic style changes, which feels very much like turning the page to listen to a new track on the album. This one is bright and lively. That one is sombre and loving. Each page is a different experience as we get a glimpse into this chance encounter between two fated lovers who find joy in each other, the sea, and music.

The wordless poetry of The Wayfarin’ Stranger Meets the Lady Pirate is a testament to what graphic literature can be.

Wendy Browne

Wendy Browne

Publisher, mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.
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