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Flight, Volume One Comics – April 10, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Most of the stories in this gorgeous color anthology are about flying, but the title also refers to its contributors starting to take wing. The 21 young American cartoonists in the book—some of them still in college—met through their Internet comics; a few of them have never been published in print before. As Scott McCloud notes in his afterword, though, they're the future of comics. Many of them have assimilated manga and fine-art influences into their work; several use dazzling computer color techniques that have more to do with animation than traditional print comics. The sense of visual imagination at work owes almost nothing to traditional branches of comics art; there aren't many domestic or plebeian scenes. Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), with his sense of wonder and formidable skill, is a touch point for many, but not in an overbearing way. Most of the contributors are clearly en route to solid comics careers, although a handful are still working out how to make their narratives as confident as their images. Highlights include Clio Chiang's "The Bowl," an ingenious, wordless variation on the classic three-wishes story that draws its visual language from cel animation; Jen Wang's "Paper & String," a lovely short story constructed out of collaged kite paper; Khang Le's "Outside My Window," a bittersweet childhood fantasy rendered in sketchy watercolors; and Derek Kirk Kim's "The Maiden and the River Spirit," a wry commentary on an Aesop fable.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Kazu Kibuishi was 24 years old and working full-time in the animation industry when he began developing the idea of doing Flight. He began contacting his friends in the animation, comics, and graphic novel world to see if they would want to join the project. Little did he know that it would draw him into comics full-time. He now works from his home studio in Pasadena, California, creating and promoting Flight and his popular young adult comic Daisy Kutter, which was nominated as an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults -- the only graphic novel on the list in 2005.
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Top Customer Reviews
Once I looked through it I realized the stories/themes were quite grown up and I wasn't sure if my son would 'get' many of the stories. No matter, my son loved it and the artwork is incredible. Still not sure how much he understood but he loved it so much he wanted the second one for Christmas.
I call these his special graphic novel books in the hope he takes good care of them, I'm sure they'll be appreciated for years to come.
All of a sudden, Heavy Metal got a second wind and started publishing *good* stories again - full of life and vibrance and with plots and art that weren't afraid of nay-saying normalists. Nothing lasts forever, but for a few years, Heavy Metal was the place to go for interesting stories every month.
Reading *Flight* took me back to those days, back to when, as a jaded teen, I opened up Heavy Metal and was blown away by the vitality of the art and writing on the page.
Kazu Kibuishi's genius was to ask a bunch of his webcomics and artist friends to contribute to an anthology, which was intended for a small press release. Little did they know that Image Comics would see their work and be blown away enough to publish it, thus ensuring that a larger audience would read it.
*Flight* is a collection of stories, many of them having to do with flying, but not all. There's an action story involving a zeppelin; a wonderful mixed-media story about discovering people you've know for years; a nearly wordless piece about triumphing over fear (my personal fave, done by Dylan Meconis and Bill Mudron); a post-script by Scott McCloud; and a couple "Copper" pieces by Kazu himself (featured on his website [...]
These are comics, pure and simple. Graphic storytelling at its best by people who don't care about "rules" in art and who didn't wait for "permission" to make their own book. There's nothing trendy or throw-away in this book - no manga, no steroid-superheroes, no grim lines to be muttered in a badas$mofo manner. Little tales - some cute, some dark, some deeply personal, some poetic. All of 'em wonderful.
Pick it up. Pick it up and read it. And then give it to a friend. And then tell someone else about it. Because work like this deserves to be seen.
That said, I didn't give up on reading it. Each entry is a short story that has something to do with flight (save for a few). Most took on an artistic expression, as if to show off the author's style. As such, some of the stories are a bit out there. I liked a few, but didn't care for them all, which is why I'm giving this book a 3-star rating.
Something about this reminds me of the Robot Carnival anime, which is a collection of different animation styles. Each story has something to do with robots, like this does with flight, but otherwise they were all very different . . . that is the case with Flight too.
In order to enjoy this story, it's best to put on your creativity cap and look at it as more of an art form than a collection of well written stories.
James D. Maxon
Author of Traphis: A Wizard's Tale
Interesting collection of graphic shorts, varying in quality (of course) but most relatively strong. Interestingly, I liked Kibuishi's the best (usually I find editors who include their own work in anthologies use second-rate stuff they couldn't get published elsewhere); appealing characters, strong storyline, manga-style artwork without being overly cute or cloying. But Kibuishi's two stories are by no means the only reason to pick this up; there are a number of solid artists represented here. Open to a random page and you're likely to like what you see. *** ½
There are a few charming pieces, a few gems, and a few pieces that struggle with their narrative and never quite get off the ground.
"Flight" as a theme may be a bit too airy and loaded with cliche to build a cohesive set of stories, but these authors -- many of them not yet well known -- try their best.
Overall I think this book is okay. However, the later books (flight 2-4) just keep getting better and better. I guess with time the artists grew and so does their artworks. There are also more and more artists joining in. I highly recommend getting the later books. If you do, you need to get this one too...to complete the collection of course.