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Hum Paperback – May 25, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


... It really is a beautiful, endearing work. I would sell it as neo-mythological. Honestly, I could find absolutely nothing wrong with the book, and I take a human level of pride at times destroying others. --Richard Caldwell, comicnews.info

In one of Warren Ellis s wonderful column series Come in Alone, he comments astutely on the great irony of Image Comics and the exodus of talent by MacFarlane, Lee, Liefeld, Valentino, Silvestri and co. from Marvel and DC to their own creative landscape. A publisher where their imagination would no longer be hindered by a lust for big bucks and a fear of venturing outsides the comic medium s established market. Of course, this creator-lead drive ultimately gave birth to Spawn, Shadowhawk, WILDCats, Cyberforce and (ugh) Youngblood; second-rate facsimiles of the mainstream titles those guys had fled from, betrayed not by a want for imagination or artistic ability but a complete lack of balls. So why am I rambling on about something completely unconnected from the book I m supposed to be reviewing? Because Hum, the new book by screenwriter Scott Diablo Marcano and Tom Lenoci, and illustrated by Renzo Podesta, manages to succeed where so many independently published titles fail. These guys have crafted an intelligent tale that caters to the accustomed comic book science fiction and fantasy market without ever feeling complacent or uninspired. It s a rich, unfeigned sci-fi tale that doesn t attempt to grab your interest with colourful but shallow characters that feel as though they were designed solely with action figures and animated series in mind. This is a difficult book to discuss without delving deeper and stumbling into spoiler territory. Probably the most impressive thing about Hum is how Marcano and Lenoci introduce their cast without forcing explanation or back-story upon us. Many of the locations and plot devices remain unnamed, and the Marcano and company depict is one that isn t burgeoned by techno-babble or the need to slap industrial innovation on every page. The book s pacing feels effortless; the script never forces the specifics of this universe upon us, but rather allows its characters to speak for themselves. Vol s dreams fill in the gaps at regular points, and though you ll be confused for much of Hum s first act you ll never be bored. Unsurprising as Marcano has worked in films for years, Hum reads very much like a film script; he and Podesta use dialogue sparingly, never undermining the pace with an unnecessary narrator. There are some great ideas present; the village punishes its criminals by refusing to acknowledge that they exist, while Vol s eyesight is viewed (no pun intended) by the blind as an impairment. I felt that Vol s manipulative, twisted brother Rom could perhaps have been expanded upon; compared alongside the rest of the superbly realised cast he almost fits into the two-dimensional villain role a little bit too willingly. Renzo Podestas art is striking, and though he was clearly on a strict schedule his economically stylised character designs possess a distinctively jagged quality. His work often has a texture to it, showcased in the impressive colour scenes which represent Vol s drug-induced dream state. Never does Hum feel like a routine introduction to a bigger, better sequel, as similar works might, but a visual and cerebral experience that is hard to compare to any other work in the comic medium. The book's conclusion is especially memorable, wrapping up all of the story s themes without leaving you feeling like it could have been handled in any other way. --holycr4p.com

About the Author

SCOTT MARCANO: aka Diablo to his horror fans - is a successful screenwriter, professional ghost story teller, and comic book creator. He began his career by writing the comedy cult classic Bio-Dome for MGM and has gone on to pen numerous projects for Disney, MGM, Radar Pictures, and the recent award-winning independent film The Journey. A natural-born storyteller who was obsessed with ghosts and comic books as a kid, Scott has made a very successful leap into the world of with his critically acclaimed horror graphic novel The Unwanted." He is currently working on Nancy Hernandez and The Black Widows. - a graphic novel based upon a gruesome true-life haunting at a Los Angeles Middle School.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Diablo Productions; First Edition edition (May 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977016463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977016464
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,017,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this based on the reviews and the artwork. I'm sad to say that I just don't get what all the hype is about. I read it fairly quickly, but I kept waiting for that magic moment that everyone else experienced, which never happened for me. I was really unimpressed by the story, the characters were lacking, and the artwork was just okay (note that the actual comic is in black and white). I really do like his artwork (see 27 by Charles Soule), but you need more than that to make a good TPB.
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Format: Paperback
HUM is an epic-sized tale of unbridled epic fantasy. As universe-encompassing as Frank Herbert's initial Dune novel (and damn near as metaphysical at times), we are shown a future, alien world in the years following a devastating reversal of social class structuring. This story is a philosophical tract on the effects of violence as relating to the individual psyche and to society at large. But it's still very much fantasy, with a village of genetically-rendered blind folks dealing with the dethroned masters down the way and their overreaching addictions and prejudiced hindsight and even more limited foresight. So epic as to be visionary, really.

Marcano has written several graphic novels, and here teaming with Lenoci he has forged a wondrous and thoughtful elegy. Vol is an addict, given a life or death ultimatum by his twisted brother Rom only to find a more convincing reason to stray from his brother's will. Namely, his own will, which is found through Lum, a beautiful slave turned leader among the villagers. Her people's livelihoods may well be threatened again from the same city-dwellers who had enforced brutal slavery for a full millennium. Led of course, by Vol's brother Rom. Vol is faced with some hard decisions to delve through, with a great cast of fully-developed characters pulling him to and fro. Like a Shakespearean drama but without the whimsy. What is sacrifice? What rates retribution? Who are we, and what are we even doing here anyway? These questions and more Vol has to find answers for himself, and before another war breaks out.

Podesta has quietly been illustrating some of the prettiest and more inventive indie books of recent years, and here his style is so fresh.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just read "The Unwanted" by Diablo and loved it so much I had to get something else by him. Hum kicks ass! It's a cool sci-fi epic. Everybody is going nuts over Avatar and this is a million times better. Somebody shoot this thing in 3d and it will make 2 billion dollars too! C.W.
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Format: Paperback
Crafted look at man's heart of darkness and how our interconnectedness explodes into being. If you're a fan of myth and meaning this is the read for you. Graphic novels offer the opportunity to imprint your experience alongside the artistry. Get ready to HUM along with this page turner!
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