Daily Archives: July 23, 2008

Every McCloud Has a Silver Lining

Zot! 1987-1991: The Complete Black and White Collection trade paperback
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Scott McCloud
Letters: Bob Lappan
Editor: cat yronwode
Publisher: HarperCollins
Price: $24.95 US/$26.95 CAN

I missed out on the original run of Scott McCloud’s Zot! comics, but I’m not a stranger to the concept. I picked up a cheap trade-paperback edition of his early Zot! color issues a while back, but this new HarperCollins edition of the subsequent black-and-white run of the landmark series is new territory for me. To suggest I was enthralled by McCloud’s pop commentary about hope and beauty in the world would be to embrace understatement. Zot’s adventures and the relationships among him, Jenny and a circle of friends from two sides of the same mirror are vastly different in tone but equally well crafted, entertaining and even challenging. Clearly inspired a great deal by Osamu Tezuka’s work, Zot!, at first glance, seems like Astro Boy with a human in the main role of the boy hero. But there’s a lot more to Zot!, and it’s apparent early on in the book. Ultimately, it’s a parable about the importance of hope, innocence, kindness and joy. The energy that jumps up from the page is infectious, and that’s really what the book is all about: encouraging others to see the beauty and goodness all around them.

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