Book Review: Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir, Steenz

Archival Quality is a graphic novel written by Ivy Noelle Weir with artwork by Steenz. It would be best for young adult and older readers. After losing her job at the library, Celeste "Cel" Walden starts working at the haunting Logan Museum as an archivist. But the job may not be the second chance she was hoping for, and she finds herself confronting her mental health, her relationships, and before long, her grasp on reality as she begins to dream of a young woman she's never met, but feels strangely drawn to. Especially after she asks Cel for help. As Cel attempts to learn more about the woman, she begins losing time, misplacing things, passing out—the job is becoming dangerous, but she can't let go of this mysterious woman. Who is she? Why is she so fixated on Cel? And does Cel have the power to save her when she's still trying to save herself?

Archival Quality is a graphic novel about dealing with mental illness, and solving a mystery of past and present horrors. Cel needs to learn to trust herself, to accept help when needed, and to trust that those around her care about her and are more than willing to help if she lets them. I liked seeing the trust and friendship develop- and the secrets be slowly revealed.  I liked the combination of mystery, mystical, and trying to find your way. I could empathize with most of the characters, including the secondary players. I liked the story, and think it will keep readers thinking about the story well after they finish it. I know I am still thinking about Cel's journey, and they way she finds herself. I was not thrilled with the art style, it felt a little clunky for some of the characters, but others looked fantastic. The back grounds and details are very well done, and add to the story well- it is just the style a few of the characters that did not work for me. I liked that the story of the books creation was included in the afterwords, and that further reading and museums to explore are offered up as well. The sketch pages were interesting to see as well, to see how the characters were envisioned and changed as the book came together. 

Archival Quality is an interesting and engaging graphic novel that I think will speak to young and new adults, as well of those that have been considered adults for longer than we might want to admit. The mystery and spooky aspects are on point, and the handling of friendship and mental illness was very well done and might speak to others struggling.

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