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by Wayne Markley
First off, I should apologize for my long absence in writing this blog. I am now back to my regular schedule so those of you who read this frequently (and typically send me comments), thank you. because I have been away I thought the best way to resume is with an summary of recent releases from my favorite publisher, Humanoids. They have released a number of new books over the last six months so it is going to take me a couple of columns to catch up with all their new releases. this time we have two hardcover collections and one trade. The one thread running through these three books is outstanding quality; a second thread is how different they are in terms of style and genre.
The first book we are going to look at is called Megalex. This is a full color hardcover by Alejendro Jodorowsky and Fred Beltran. This is a collection of three albums done over a number of years that come together to tell a complete story, and what a story it is. as with practically everything Jororowsky writes, this is a complex story with a number of twists and turns and in the end is a completely satisfying read. and like any terrific book or film it ends leaving you wanting more. The basic story is about a planet called Megalex where technology has taken over the entire planet and nature is practically completely eradicated and many people are stoned out of their minds on drugs (which is a positive of sorts in this story). A single clone (which are common in Megalex) desires something much more than the normal. It is a rich science fiction story that rates up with the best writers of the field. The art by Fred Beltan is a bit different. Beltran made his fame doing a photo-realistic/CGI style of art that is very stunning to look at. The first two albums (and thus chapters of this book) are done in this photo style. The third chapter was done numerous years later is in a conventional pen and ink style. It’s still very good, but very different than the first two chapters. At first is it jarring, but after a few pages, the story draws you back in and you forget there is any change in the art style. overall a terrific read that I would highly recommend over practically any monthly comic. It is well worth you the investment of your time and money. Please note there is a terrific deal of violence and nudity in this book.
Monsieur Jean: The singles Theory
Next we have another hardcover called Monsieur Jean: The singles theory by Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian. When I sat down to read this collection of short stories I was a bit hesitant. It is a change of pace from what Humanoids typically has published as the art style is very different from many of their collections. The book is a collection of short stories about Monsierur Jean and his friends. M. Jean is not really that good of a man and his attitude and actions create all sorts of havoc which create humorous situations and awkward stories. The art is a mix of Jules Peiffer and animation, yet the combination of styles and storytelling really entertained me. I found myself laughing and feeling bad for M. Jean at different times as I read this book. apparently Monsieur Jean has been a best seller in France for over 20 years and there are a number of albums about him and this book collects all the short stories featuring him. As I said going in I was a bit hesitant about this book, but having read it I can honestly say I was won over and would gladly read much more about this distinct character.
Koma is by Wazem and Peeters and is it is a full color softcover which is a mix of fantasy and reality. This book is hard to describe as it balances a very real story with very surreal and wonderful elements. It tells the story of Addidas, who is a young girl who helps her dad cleaning chimneys in a town where there is nothing but chimneys. That is until one day she wanders down a chimney and discovers a distinct creature that shows her all the wonders of the world in a completely new light. The art really helps carry this book and the style reminds me of Scott Pilgrim’s Brian LeeO’Malley except with a cleaner look. This book could have easily been published by Graphix as it is that good and the quality is that high. By the time I finished this book I was left with a sense of sadness due to the fact that the book was over, and because of Addidas’ experiences.
Once again Humanoids has three outstanding books and each is distinct and each one is highly recommended from me for different reasons. Humanoids has been able to publish a very diverse line of books while maintaining top notch quality. With each of these three books you will find extraordinary stories and stunning art, yet each book is so very different in looks and tone from the others that you would never know they were from the same publisher. All are worth your time and money.
I will be back soon with new reviews of the marvel NOW! titles and a new batch of holiday ideas for your reading pleasure. As always, thank you very much for your time for reading this blog. any comments, ideas or review copies can be sent to MFBWAY@AOL.COM. The thoughts and words in this blog do not reflect the opinions of the Westfield company or their employees.
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