The Sword of Mali Mani

Anne Szabla

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The Sword of Mali Mani

The Sword of Mali Mani Bird Boy follows the story of Bali a year old boy desperate to prove his worth to his Northern tribe despite his small stature Banned from the ceremony that would make him an adult in the eyes o

  • Title: The Sword of Mali Mani
  • Author: Anne Szabla
  • ISBN: 9781616559304
  • Page: 346
  • Format: Paperback
  • Bird Boy follows the story of Bali, a 10 year old boy, desperate to prove his worth to his Northern tribe, despite his small stature Banned from the ceremony that would make him an adult in the eyes of his people, he takes matters into his own hands To prove that he is capable of taking care of himself, he sets out into the forbidden forest and stumbles upon a legendaryBird Boy follows the story of Bali, a 10 year old boy, desperate to prove his worth to his Northern tribe, despite his small stature Banned from the ceremony that would make him an adult in the eyes of his people, he takes matters into his own hands To prove that he is capable of taking care of himself, he sets out into the forbidden forest and stumbles upon a legendary weapon Bali fights his way across a dangerous land of gods, men, and beasts to keep the sword of Mali Mani, the savior of the sun, from the hands of the terrifying Rooks.

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      Posted by:Anne Szabla
      Published :2018-08-03T13:26:10+00:00

    One thought on “The Sword of Mali Mani

    1. Viv JM on said:

      I read this for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge task to "read an all ages comic". This was rather wonderful and charming, with gorgeous artwork, so a good choice!

    2. paula on said:

      I want more of this RIGHT NOW. Art that combines Northwest Native American and Central American stylistic tradition with hints of Central Asian, Japanese, and even Venetian material culture to illustrate a prototypical return of the hero quest undertaken by an underestimated hero - and yet it feels marvelously original, and no kid will have to know a single thing about Haida masks, Italian opera garb, or yurts in order to enjoy it. Brava!

    3. Andy on said:

      Bird Boy, Volume 1: The Sword of Mali Mani is a book that seems very, very old and in many ways familiar, yet startlingly foreign and fresh. The story is simple: a young boy wants to prove his worth to his tribe by making his way through the dangers of the forbidden forest. A familiar story to be sure, but Szabla's art is wonderfully stylized and the text is kept to a minimum. Familiarity and strangeness combine to make this one of my favorite books for young readers so far this year.

    4. Mary Catelli on said:

      I read the webcomic. Now I have the first collection!An unusual world. Full of masks. That is, all the humans wear them, and all the animals too. Bears, owls, wolves -- you name it, wears a mask.It opens with a very mythic prologue. Then we have a hunt where Bali, a small and clumsy boy, is brought on the hunt and told that he was brought to carry, not throw, spears. When the hunters go off, he tries throwing a spear at birds. It ends with the spear in the forest, which is forbidden. He goes in [...]

    5. Marc on said:

      This web comic came to my attention because it won the 2017 Eisner Award for Best Web Comic. It's the beginning of an all-ages tale about a young tribe member yearning to be a contributing part of the whole. There's something so engaging and charming about the art that I can't quite put into words. Szabla literally draws you into the story with her use of color and perspective. There's a charmingly poetic feel to the sequence of the panels, and a kind of tenderness and fragility existing amidst [...]

    6. Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη on said:

      Τι τέλειο! Τι γλυκό, τι εξωτικό, τι μαγικό! Κάτι ανάμεσα σε Θόργκαλ, Κάντι-Κάντι και Ινκαάλ, με ψήγματα αζτέκικου/Ινουίτ γούστου. Λατρεία!

    7. Sean on said:

      Exquisitely beautiful art that will take you away to mythic lands, in the service of a worthy tale. I love everything: the sense of mystery coupled with the outright bizarre (which never ceases to be beautiful); the fun and humor which does not distract from the serious story; and the delightful environment in which to discover, perhaps, what it means to be human.

    8. Joseph Crouch on said:

      Evocative artwork and a sparse and steadily meted out hold on storytelling make Bird Boy what it is. It reminds me of Hellboy crossed with anything made by Team Ico.Fans of either of those will find much to love here.

    9. Mathew on said:

      Szabla's illustrations are absolutely wonderful in this first of the series graphic novel. I've read a fair few graphic novels for children recently but this delivers a style and character that is new and exciting. The world, although a little like ours, is distinctly not and reminded me a little of Aiken and Miyazaki. Although beautiful to look at, I don't quite know how I feel about Szabla's use of cultural icons from North American native people's history (possibly) to aim and support a white [...]

    10. Heydi Smith on said:

      Well I'm hooked! How has this story not gone viral? It's gorgeous even at this stage in its infancy. I can't wait to see what it blossoms into.

    11. Raina on said:

      I really liked the creatures and the world-building, but was never quite sucked in by the story. Very action heavy, low on character development. Great full-color illustrations, though.And I can't quite stop myself from side-eyeing the art for its similarity to imagery from marginalized cultures. I didn't do the research to full-on condemn it for wrong-doing there, but I found the (maybe imagined) question a personal mental roadblock.

    12. Aaron on said:

      Small and relegated to carrying weapons for the seasonal hunts (rather than learning how to use said weapons for the hunt), a ten-year-old boy stumbles upon destiny. Or perhaps, destiny has finally stumbled upon him.In BIRD BOY, respect is fleeting, as young Bali is rebuked by tribal insiders for his clumsiness and penchant for getting into trouble. The kid's wide eyes and puffy feet can only accomplish so much. Join the hunt? No. Participate in a coming-of-age ceremony? No. Stay out of the way, [...]

    13. Karissa on said:

      This was a really well done middle grade graphic novel. I loved the illustration style; it’s detailed and beautifully done. I loved the color throughout and the slightly cartoony look to it. The artwork has a bit of a tribal feel to it because of the Northern tribes clothing and masks but also a very mythological feel to it because of what Bali finds in the forest.The story is cute, slightly scary and very unique. My nine year old son and I both read and loved it. My son commented that he love [...]

    14. Lisa on said:

      I know there are some fabulous graphic novels out there. However, I usually find they lack depth in the areas I care about (much like romance-only books, a genre I can also enjoy immensely if I find the right author) so I avoid them. It's simply easier to find something I will enjoy in regular books. I actually got this for my stepson, but he wasn't in the mood to read and they were pretty so I read them.The plot was great. Szabla conveys the story skillfully through both mediums creating charac [...]

    15. Samantha on said:

      I have the world's hugest soft spot for new takes on the old monomyth classic, and boy, does Bird Boy deliver. It's the story of our little hero (aforenamed) who stumbles into a real dangerous Liminal Wood and finds the Sword of Mali Mani, the hero of his tribe and the light-bringer. He kicks off his quest to get home and save his tribe while he's at it.The art style is really incredibly beautiful--reminiscent of Inuit art, incredibly fluid and haunting, and filled with these incredible fantasti [...]

    16. Raivan's Nest on said:

      I got this book from a lucky dip bag at my local comic bookstore. Finally picked it up to read it out of boredom Ok I'm hooked. Webcomic is now going on my daily reading list :P

    17. Darth on said:

      Interesting junior comic. Thought it pulled a lot from Norse mythology, which is always a plus in my book. The art was simply gorgeous.

    18. Melody on said:

      I really enjoyed it! The lore was interesting and I really loved the main character and his quirks. I really wanted him to succeed. I can't wait to read more and see how it all turns out!

    19. Sean on said:

      Very short graphic novel. I loved the art but it sometimes hard to read the motion of the action. I look forward to more in the series. It just wish this one was longer.

    20. Matt on said:

      Making its way from the Internet to the print, “Bird Boy: The Sword of Mali Mani” absolutely sings on the page. A triumph of visual design, Anne Szabla’s all-ages adventure spins a fantastic tale with an old school animation spirit. The book is marvelous to look at, with an overall aesthetic helping to cover some of its more conventional aspects.There’s a lot in “Bird Boy: The Sword of Mali Mani” that might seem familiar. Anne Szabla mines the genre for all these elements and basical [...]

    21. Kay on said:

      Art and colors are a whopping 5 stars. So pretty and rich.Story is just getting started with vol. 1. Bali is an adorable roly poly boy in a bird mask, too small yet to become a hunter in his tribe. He's just trying to prove himself & find his way homeBird Boy is a little Lord of the Rings meets Amulet. <3

    22. Bemused "Em" Writer on said:

      This is excellent! It feels a bit like a cross between The Wind Waker and Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is a superb mix in my opinion. The story stands on its own though.The story is following Bali who wants to prove himself to his tribe. As you might expect, this simple hope takes some twists and turns and nothing is a simple as it seems. There's also a legacy, forgotten history, and two tribes. The whole world has mystical creatures and unusual animals. I really like the aboriginal vibe th [...]

    23. Rin on said:

      I wasn't sure what I was going to think of this book. Just how many times can there be an original story about a young boy who doesn't quite fit in and his search for identity leads him into an amazing adventure? I figured I'd snag a copy from the library just to check it out and I'm really glad I did, and I think I'm going to buy a copy to own. The art is worth the price of admission alone. Szabla does an absolutely beautiful job. In the depictions of the native culture in the book, you can all [...]

    24. Chris on said:

      I bought this on a whim. The artwork looked cool and it had an interesting concept and it was relatively cheap.I'm happy I did. The story feels opens with a tribal mythological tale passed on to each generation, it reminded me a lot of Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), a computer game where you play a young Inuit girl who is thrust into an old folktale.Our young would-be hero Bali faces a similiar journey. I don't know whether this is partly based on a real life folk-tale, but it's set in such a [...]

    25. Niki Marion on said:

      I love this artwork: expressive, inventive, and visually engrossing. It's visual storytelling at its finest, making its readers work to discover the action. I'm just wondering if this is based off of any real-world tribal mythology or if it is totally a product of the author/artist's imagination. I couldn't find any easy information on the Nuru or Saburi tribes or deity Mali Mani on Google. Would appreciate if anyone else knows, because it would definitely affect my feelings about this comic ser [...]

    26. Jenna on said:

      Review based off an ARC copy courtesy of Edelweiss.Gorgeously illustrated with a fantastic world and mythology that I am raring to hear more of. The drawings were detailed and fit the situation perfectly, providing an atmosphere that drew me right in. I can see fans of Princess Mononoke enjoying this book, as well as fans of Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story series, due to the detailed nature of Bird Boy's worldbuilding.

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