Mikael Ross combines deep reserves of empathy with strong comics making skills – which incorporate incisive storytelling, expressive linework and a great sense of color – to forge a portrait of a group of challenged and challenging misfits (aka people with developmental disabilities) who live together in a village in Germany called Neuerkerode, that has been tailored to their needs. Ross spent two years visiting Neuerkerode in preparation for this work, and his dedication to the project shows. The Thud is a French-flapped softcover volume that runs 124, full color, 8" x 10" pages and centers on the character of Noel and begins with "the thud" that sets in motion the events that lead to his being moved to Neuerkerode. There he gradually comes into contact with its inhabitants and finds his way. The Thud is a unique, and quite moving, work, one that creates a sort of funhouse mirror in which we can see aspects of ourselves exaggerated and/or distorted through the thoughts, words and actions of the Neuerkerodians and ultimately gain a better understanding of the nature of our universal humanity.
There's a nice excerpt/preview accompanied by a brief review by Calvin Reid, on The Millions, HERE.