Southern Cross: A Novel of the South Seas – Laurence Hyde


256 p. – b&w – 18,5 x 16,5 cm – hardcover
Drawn & Quarterly, 2007 – ISBN 9781897299104

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A wordless novel told in 118 wood engravings about the atomic bomb testing performed by the United States in the South Pacific following World War II.

Laurence Hyde was infuriated with the United States’ continued testing in the Bikini Atoll, following the mass destruction and unthinkable horrors resulting from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Hyde’s graphic novel involves a Polynesian island and the islanders’ idyllic and secure life that is forever lost after American sailors arrive and evacuate the islanders from their homes. During the evacuation, a fisherman kills a sailor who attempts to rape his wife. The couple flees with their child into the jungle to avoid capture. After the other islanders have evacuated, the Americans detonate an atom bomb on the ocean floor. The island receives the brunt of the bomb’s destructive force, which annihilates all flora and fauna. The fisherman and his family are subjected to horrific suffering and pain before dying from the resulting blast and radiation.

This hardcover edition is a facsimile of the original edition, published in 1951.