Written and Drawn by Various
Published by NBM
Reviewed by Marc Mason
Three new books worth your time…
After a long absence from the shelves, Patrick Atangan returns with INVINCIBLE DAYS, a fascinating look at his youth. Told via anthropomorphic characters, Atangan relates numerous emotionally involving stories that the reader can easily connect to on an intimate level. Whether it is the rawness with which he presents his feelings of isolation as a child from Asia being raised in America, or the dramatic heft of the ongoing saga of his grandmother’s deteriorating health and passing, everything here has a deep truth to it. It is the anthropomorphic characters, along with the day-glo color scheme Atangan uses that keeps the book from feeling too heavy. INVINCIBLE DAYS treads a line that combines autobiography and pure art comix, and does so pretty damned well. An easy recommendation for those whose tastes run toward those genres.
The writer/artist team of Hubert and Kerascoet (MISS DON’T TOUCH ME) once again grace American shelves with BEAUTY, a classic tale of a wish gone wrong. A young, plain commoner known as Coddie believes (and is treated like) she is the most unattractive girl in the land. But when she frees a trapped fairy, she is given a chance to change her life with a wish. Her wish: to be beautiful. Unable to physically change the girl, the fairy changes everyone’s perception of the girl, and suddenly all men across the land believe she is the fairest of them all. Unfortunately, this leads to violence, jealousy, vanity, and lots of other problems. Wittily scripted by Hubert and gorgeously drawn by Kerascoet, BEAUTY dives below the surface to tackle our obsession with looks, both our own and everyone else’s, in an interesting and entertaining way. As with their earlier work, the outcomes aren’t always pretty and the answers aren’t always easy, but the journey this excellent hardcover takes you on is well worth taking.
Volume 2 of writer/artist Arthur De Pins’ ZOMBILLENIUM is subtitled “Human Resources”, which is a spectacular pun in many ways. Zombillenium is a horror theme park that is staffed by actual monsters and creatures of the night. Here in book two, the park faces trouble on two fronts: one, the nearby locals aren’t too keen on the monsters in their midst and are plotting some good old fashioned terrorism in order to do something about it; and two, a rather disturbing woman arrives at the park with her son, and there is something far too familiar about her in the eyes of management. In both cases, the rather… hot… aspects of Level -9 of the complex are about to come into play.
Funny, profane, rude, beautifully drawn, and highly creative, this second entry in the series is absolutely terrific. If they remain this good, I’ll keep reading them until the end.