Air: Letters from Lost Countries – G. Willow Wilson

This has to be one of the most phenomenal and cryptic openings of any book. Even twenty-five pages in you still don’t know what is going on yet are completely enthralled. Just like our heroine you are caught up in a mystery and powerless to stop it taking you to strange places full of strange ideas.

Part thriller, part romance with a tiny hint of Aztec Steampunk this is magical realism at its finest. If you mixed Sandman with the Thirty-nine Steps you might just come close to this. Tapping into the zeitgeist fear of air terrorism and with a poignant ecological message this work carves a unique niche and waves the flag or originality for all it is worth.

Printed on matt paper the art is very Y: The Last Man. Unlike the smooth, handsome faces that seem to be the default for many comics – and the media in general – here are genuinely quirky faces full of character and depth. There is a lot of freedom in the panel composition with dramatic and unusual angles enhancing the disorientation. Some great dream sequences where characters step out of the frames and things happen in the white-space in between.

If you have the faith to step into the unknown and hang on while your head spins then ultimately you will be rewarded. For originality and courage this receives the Double Thumbs Up!

188/177.

Tomorrow: Air: Flying Machine – G. Willow Wilson

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