The Colorful Mind of Sarah Jolley and “The Property of Hate”
We know how most stories are supposed to start. A child is given a choice to leave their home in favor of a fantastical journey that will forever change them. This is known as the “call to adventure.”
In Sarah Jolley’s The Property of Hate, that call is made by a sardonic carnival barker with a television set for a head. Still with me? Good.
The Property of Hate, like many adventure stories, features a vibrant and imaginative world full of wondrous creatures and characters. But unlike most adventure stories, our protagonist, a child known only as “The Hero,” has no idea what she’s doing there or why. Blithely following her guide (the aforementioned TV-headed man named RGB) into a realm where existence is literally dictated by thought and imagination, The Hero soon comes to realize that she is trapped in a place where ideas can actually kill you. On top of all this, it appears that this magical world is on the verge of collapsing, with The Hero trapped inside.
Strange, thoughtful, and visually arresting, The Property of Hate is a surprising gem of a webcomic. While the story starts off deceptively simple and monochrome, within a few chapters Sarah Jolley’s stylish and colorful art is nearly exploding off of every page. Gorgeous vistas give way to thoughtful discussions on the nature of inspiration or fear, before catapulting into meticulously choreographed action sequences.
Most of all, Jolley’s work encapsulates an overwhelming feeling of exploration. We may not know our Hero’s purpose, or the true nature of her enigmatic guide, but we are on a journey with them, observing an endlessly changing world along with the evolution of their own complicated partnership.
Overall, The Property of Hate is a lovely comic with the power to delight and shock you, taking full advantage of the comics medium and the flexible nature of storytelling to craft something that is fun to read and wholly unique.