Written and Drawn by Various

Reviewed by Marc Mason

A couple of new books from the Random House family…

FLIGHT VOL.7 (Villard) is written and drawn by a number of different folks, and edited by Kazu Kibuishi. This is reportedly the final volume in the FLIGHT anthology series, and if so, they have gone out on a high note. This effort not only maintains the series’ high quality standards, it actually exceeds many of the earlier books. Kibuishi’s story, “The Courier- Shortcut” is not only a fun tale, but also a mission statement about what he is trying to accomplish with his work. JP Ahonen’s “Kenneth Shuri and the Big Sweep” is funnier and cleverer than anything coming out of Marvel or DC these days. Cory Godbey’s “Onere and Piccola” is a visually stunning show of force. I could go on, but the gist of it is this: FLIGHT has more imagination, colorful wit, and amazing storytelling than a year’s worth of comics you’ll get from superhero publishers. From its inception, it has stood for something: making comics that aren’t stuck in a rut, boring, or staid, and in that, it has succeeded. Buy this.

PENNY ARCADE VOL.6 (Del Rey) is written and drawn by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik. This collection of the massively popular webcomics presents all of the strips produced in 2005, and offers creator commentary on each of them. There’s no question that PENNY ARCADE is one of those rare pop cultural institutions that has the power to truly affect the geek zeitgeist, and the material presented here shows off a number of examples of why that has happened. Their opinions on various games, companies, and other targets of choice combined with their fanbase, has led to direct actions being taken in the gaming business. The writing is clever, the art is simple but complex enough to keep your mind from wandering away from the gags and stories; if you’re new to PENNY ARCADE, this might be a weird place to start, but you could. And if you’re a longtime fan? Well, you were going to buy this no matter what I wrote.