April 26, 1986, Chernobyl: the reactor core of the nuclear power plant begins to melt. It is the greatest nuclear disaster of the twentieth century. A cloud laden with radionuclides travels thousands of miles in every direction, contaminating a populace unaware of its danger and who cannot protect themselves. At that time, Emmanuel Lepage was 19 years old watching and listening, incredulous, to the news on television.
22 years later, April 2008: he travels to Chernobyl to report, both in writing and drawings, about the lives of the survivors and their children living on the highly contaminated land. Upon making the decision to travel there, Emmanuel has the feeling that he is defying death, and when he finds himself on a train to Ukraine, where the old power station is located, a question keeps popping up in his mind: What am I doing here?
"The Chernobyl Disaster has always been something that has fascinated me, so when I saw that IDW was releasing a graphic novel about the city, I was excited and apprehensive. Most stories focussing on the disaster are hard to read, full of suffering and despair. I was anxious that this would be the case for Springtime in Chernobyl. I was wrong. Springtime in Chernobyl is an incredibly moving and uplifting story, about how life goes on! The story follows Emmanuel LePage as he explores the city and surrounding areas over 20 years after the meltdown. What he finds will surprise you. This book is stunning, with works in watercolour, crayon and so much more. It really feels like LePage's field journal. Which for me, made it all the more personal." - Dani @ OK