Offensive, harrassing or baiting comments will not be tolerated and will be deleted at my discretion.
Comment spam will be deleted.
Please leave a name and either a valid web-site or e-mail address with comments. Comments left without either a valid web-site or e-mail address may be deleted. Atom Feed LiveJournal SyndicationLOLcats feed
Monday, September 19, 2005
Local by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly
It's hard not to see Brian Wood's new project as a follow-up to Demo. The basic structure is essentially the same; a twelve issue, episodic series with a discreet focus for each issue. The only significant change in this case is the inclusion of a protagonist, Meegan McKeenan, who will appear in each issue. She's the sort of naive yet cynical, world-weary and shallow teen character that Wood writes well. In the hands of another writer, that character type would probably come off as precocious, yet Wood is skilled enough to capture both the budding maturity and the lack of actual experience that epitomizes the teen years.
Ryan Kelly's art is also exemplary. His characters are very expressive and "act" well. He's able to capture sometimes very subtle expressions and communicate them very clearly to the reader. He's also very good at capturing mood and pacing, a very important feat in this story in particular.
And as for this story...the narrative trick of running through potential outcomes of decisions and random events has been done so many times, in so many formats, that it's rapidly approaching cliche. It almost works here, as Meegan's musings on the potential outcomes of her decisions display her overall callowness. Every potential outcome ends in an overly dramatic fashion, until she ultimately acts on the decision to essentially run away. In other words, in the context of this particular story, the method sort of works, if you take it as an expression of how Meegan's mind works. As a general narrative device, however, it's a little off-putting, and can easily come across as Wood simply trying to be clever. The story is strong enough that hopefully a careful reader will get past that, and the series as a whole promises to be good and well worth checking out.
The first issue of Local is scheduled to be in stores November 9th, and it's not too late to put in an order at your local comics shop for it. It should appeal strongly to fans of Wood's previous work, particularly the more down-to-earth issues of Demo, and to fans of realistic, "slice of life" comics.