Hannibal Barca, c. 259 BCE
Author and Artist: Adhemar Ahmad
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2014)
At once a story for children and a cultural corrective, Hannibal Barca chronicles the dream-journeys of young Hannibal in vivid illustrations. Ahmad’s fable presents the world with a vision of a possible past.
"A curious fable about earth, the planets and the cosmos, Hannibal Barca is a cosmological adventure story with original illustration. With a bare text, the visuals track the inchoate longings of the dreamer. Hannibal Barca appears on the moon, feels the solar winds of Mars blow, sees the purple dew speckling Uranus. A tiny consciousness in a vast universe, the traveler is full of wonder—situating himself as a mere speck, rather than a dominating sensibility. 'Jupiter is so large it is like 50 million elephants compared to Hannibal,' writes Adhemar Ahmad, the author and illustrator. With some kinship to the lens of the Antoine Saint Exupery's Little Prince on the vastness of the universe, this haunting essay is poetry with a modest demeanor and a huge subject. Abstracted forms in color and sketched figures evoke the unknowable—metaphors for a minuscle human traversing the galaxies. Once again Brooklyn's Ugly Duckling Presse has published unique work from a talented unknown individual, discovering an original voice."
–Rambling Digital Humanist