Saturday, January 28, 2006

Three graphic novels read last weekend.

Invincible is a relatively new comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley. I read the first 13 issues collected in graphics novel format as Invincible: The Ultimate Collection (Volume 1). Invincible is about what it would be like to grow up as Superman's son. Essentially a well-written combination of science-fiction and the O.C.

Then I read three volumes of The Walking Dead also written by Kirkman (Illustrated in horrific pen and ink by Charlie Adlard.) This is a zombie book, which opens suspiciously like 28 Days Later. Pretty quick however we see that this book is about a lot more than just zombies. It's one of the most plausible portrayals about how people would actually act during a world-wide catastrophe. This book has bigotry, sexual politics, mania, and everything else that makes us human.

And finally, I read a book which quickly finds itself in the list of the greatest graphic novels ever written, right up there with Persepolis and The Watchmen. The Tale of One Bad Rat, written and illustrated by Bryan Talbot. The story of a young girl with a pet rat, on the run, that will break your heart and give you hope. The art, lush and beautiful, illustrates Mr. Talbot's mastery of all the literary devices of modern graphic novel, quite a few of which he invented himself, in his earlier work The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. (Hat tip to Warren Ellis for introducing me to Bryan Talbot.)

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