Maxwell Strangewell original graphic novel
Writers/Artists: Matthew Fillbach & Shawn Fillbach
Editor: Dave Land
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $19.95 US
According to Dark Horse’s website, the Fillbach Brothers’ previous claim to fame is some popular work on the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures digests. Now, while Maxwell Strangewell is a science-fiction story, it’s a radically different sort of story than some Lucasfilm spinoff. There’s a distinctly philosophical and surreal quality to this book that’s quite appealing. Now, the ultimate granola message of the story is rather obvious (and spelled out far too plainly by the book’s end), but it never fails to amuse. Furthermore, the cast of characters is expansive, and early on in the book, the reader can never be sure if each new character or alien contingent is a protagonist or villain. There’s a complexity to the structure of the dramatis personae that’s appealing. Maxwell Strangewell isn’t quite as deep as it seems at first, but it’s solidly entertaining from start to finish. As I read through the first couple of chapters, it reminded me of other samples of pop culture I’ve enjoyed in the past. Have you ever seen the movie Starman, John Carpenter’s sci-fi love story featuring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen? Maxwell Strangewell is like that movie, had it been written and directed by Tim Burton.