My big bad Flight page

Flight is a series of collected omnibus comics, all on a general theme of flying (both literal and figurative flying) by young, contemporary artists. The art is superb, in the vein of the heavy Heavy Metal monthly illustrated magazine, but generally bloodless and with more innocent, fantastical young adult storylines, involving fantasy, romance, identity searching, etc. There are plenty of anthropomorphic creations, and a lot of the characters have a cat as a pet, companion or sidekick (often cats are the main characters). The vital statistics of the eight volumes of Flight can be found here.

Flight

Flight

Flight, Volume One – Flight is an attractive compilation of cool but generally bloodless short illudytsyrf comic tales. They are innocent, with hardly any harsh language, and they are mostly about un-adventurously wry Ghibli moments, most of which involve flying creatures or machines-of-flight (making this a sort of Porco Rosso-inspired thingy more than anything else). Oh well!

“Maiden Voyage” by Kazu Kibuishi is interesting, as it recounts the adventure of a young pilot and his talking dog as they build their airplane, fly it, and crash land it. It’s good fun; this is also the only adventure that is re-visited in the same tale with a mild reprise at the end (this never happens again in a Flight issue, although there are a few tales that are carried over multiple volumes). “Hugo Earheart” is a useless kids tale similar to what you’d read in a young reader magazine (or a free primary school magazine), it’s the tale of a young kid and his magical sidekicks as he goes off to deliver something to somebody, flying through the crowds with his airborne pig and whale. Okay, whatever. Cool flying pixie, though. However, a story about a girl who spontaneously grows wings is a nice dialogue-driven goof. “Paper and String” by Jen Wong is beautiful to look at (kites!), but the dialogue is awful! Then there’s a nice tale of an Indian emigre returning to India and drinking the water (no real flying here, other than the airplane thing, but that’s okay). A tale of a Victorian zeppelin hijacking, another of a young girl kidnapped by aliens who just want to be kind and generous uncles to their zoo pets, worldless tales of bomb zeppelins, and a nice story about a kid who falls from a tree and overcomes his fear of heights (and flying). “The Maiden and the River Spirit” by Derek Kirk Kim is kind of funny – beautiful pictures and blocks of text, it’s sort of a mix between an illustrated tale and a comic. “Tug McTaggart, Circus Detective” is just what it says, although there’s no real crime at the end. Oh well again!!

“Deep Blue” tells the wordless tale of the flightless penguin who nonetheless flies underwater and saves his tribe from sharks. “Migrations” is a goofy dating comic with stark art, and “Faith” is just stark. “I wish I believed in God…” Deep… “The Bowl” is beautifully-drawn mytholizing, aboriginal life fantasies with masks and ravens, all sorts of cool gravy!!

All of the tales are beautiful and very well drawn! And no superheroes either!! But it’s also clear that each artist wishes to some day be employed by Pixar (there could be worse things to aspire to, of course!!).

F2

F2

Flight, Volume Two – Flight, volume two, picks up where the first left off, which is to showcase amazing young illustrators telling strange stories vaguely (or directly) related to flight and flying. This is a hefty one of 430 pages that contains the work of 33 artists telling their stories.

The set opens with an amazing wordless story (many of the subsequent pieces in this volume are wordless as well) about a young space fox engaging with a cool flying space fox that splits his planet in two, the first of a fantastic series about Rex by Michael Gagne that continues until Volume Seven. Wow! “Solomon Fix” shows a young dogy preparing for a weird afternoon tea, dealing with the anxiety of having visitors. Yes, very strange indeed, and some wild, edgy architecture and physical comedy. Wonderful stuff. “Robot Sparrow” shows some wild, innocent stuff – a robot learns how to dream by interacting with a migrating sparrow. Oooo-kay…. “Dead Souls Day Out”, a Malinky Robot Story, shows what happens in a future wasteland when two urchins run into some money. “Monster Slayers” has some nice artwork, but not much of a story; it’s about luckless monster slayers hired to slay a tentacled well-monster in the desert. “The Golden Temple” by Neil Babra continues the story of a young Indian emigre who returns to his native land, this time wryly interacting with a cousin in another part of India from wherever it was that he had his glass of water in Volume One. Aaaaahhh… Don Hertzfeld’s bold stick figure drawings are eery, efficient, and more than just a little creepy! “Destiny Express” is a well-drawn, but very quietly naive pice set in a train station of the interaction between an old conductor with a guilty past and a young artist who wants to become trapped in time. Great drawings!! “The Orange Grove”, a spooky little manga-like piece in black and white (and orange) tells the tale of a young romance, of a fisher-boy falling in love with an actress girl, his fisher-father trying to keep his son away from her play, the weird whale tale that sets up their reunion (she’s moving away). Sweet storytelling, and great art by the editor of Flight, Kazu Kabuishi. “Weather Vain” by Hope Larson is a cute, illustrative tale of weather systems and romance. Very creative!! Coloured in white and blue, with weather symbols in the red margins, it’s very nice indeed. “Heads Up” is wild tattoo-ish art by Becky Cloonan (not sure what the story is about, though…). “Tendergrass” is beautiful wordless cornfield snake autopsy art done in sepia. “For Rachel”. Wow!! “Last Things Last” is more wordless art by Kean Soo (initially), a bald man and a dog haunt a wake and engage in reunions and mourning. Nice doors, tables, chairs, vases, sunsets, human interaction, emotion. “Cellmates” is about a young man in jail, the spot of sunlight on the floor, and a neighbour rat. Sad what a life can devolve to. “The Ride” is totally wordless, about a bicycle race between a laborer and a sexy woman who leads him into town. It’s lascivious and sinister and darn beautiful and expressive. Wow! “Laika” is a cool wordless comic about the Soviet space dog’s alternate future exploring strange mutant worlds. “Ghost Trolley” is about a ghost trolley in a strange Ghibli architected world-of-wonder. Groovy greatness. “Wilford’s Stroll” has a puppy dog wanting to go out in the rain, his lazy/sexy mistress just wants to snooze – they come across the cloud-cleanser, who takes them for a ride. Nice! Very Lilo And Stitch, especially the young mistress. “Impossible” is another funky/sexy tale of a beauitful young lady and her dog going on walks in the park, imps prevent her from actually talking to the hunk she likes who hangs around by the pond. Beautiful, but… yawwwwnnn!!!! “Dust On The Shelves” is a cool 20-plus year story about two young French BD-lovers falling in love with each other, their identities permanently attached to the BD shop that they met in, everyone growing older (dating, love, marriage, adulthood, parenthood…). Nice. “This Time” is a cool adventure by Clio Chiang that shows a young flower thief building a monument to the boy she admires. Nice!! “Blip Pop” is a cool Heavy Metal-like freak world comic about a young green-skinned hipster (“This street used to be “cool” and weird but now it’s just so normal.” She buys some bubble juice that makes her float and fly with the cloud beings, who save her from a certain death. It’s just like a Shonen Knife album cover. “Moustrap” by Johane Matte is a nutty story about a freaky Egyptian cat that defies a mouse that enters her world – but it’s a magic mouse that turns a pond into the universe. Nice. “Sirius and Betalgeuse” is a seriously cool story about our two planet-hoppers/eaters as they bounce around the solar system. Wonderful stuff by J Smith, who did Bone. “The Flying Bride” is stylish stuff in sepia showing a damsel in Victorian distress, bullied by her suitor, saved by a group of flying-car weirdos, carried off by a gorilla. Weird!! Great anthropomorphic action, though – really something to rival Indiana Jones stunts!! “Plank” is a short tale about the world’s sildenafil cutest little red-pigtailed girl pirate. “Icarus” is about the young Greek family that wants to fly (but still ends up on Minos anyway). “A Test For Cenri” is about a young dragon fighter, it’s very much like some sort of anime story of a warrior-in-training. Yawwn… “La Sonadora” is a similarly- adolescent tale of fairie daughters of a fairie grandmother who’s become corrupt and wants to suck the energy from the stars, until she’s saved by a solar squirrel. Silly. “Skyblue” is an enchanting tale of a young pixie who dances with butterflies. It sounds lame, but it’s drawn in a beautiful way that evokes 1970s album covers and a trippy Heavy Metal take on things. Nice. “Beisbol” tells the tale of a young Cuban ball player, Francisco Sanchez, and his relationship with a kindly old former pro, who gives him his first real baseball. Also nice (and we see a bit more of Francisco in later volumes of Flight). The final page is about the salmon running in my home town of Mississauga. Extra nice!

F3

F3

Flight, Volume Three – Flight, volume 3, starts off with a wonderful piece by Michael Gagne called “Underworld”, which shows our little starfox Rex now exploring a strange underworld peopled with both loving beasts and chthulic horrors; he interrupts a living sacrifice and battles a beast, to die, and be reborn wonderfully. It’s really something special. “Old Oak Trees” by Tony Cliff is a beautiful tale of a young girl, stuck in the countryside with her brothers, hanging out with fairies, wolves, badgers, bears, families of ravens – very cool Spiderwick stuff here (and anthropomorphism done right, the non-cutesy way). Silly dialogue, though, like when the elf/imp says “then perhaps I’ll magick him off to Canada”, in response to the girl’s concern about a bear. Why Canada? “The Edge” is a lame tale of kids who go hiking to the edge of the world. “Beneath the Leaves, Lemming City” is about young animal-kids-in-clothes who go exploring (and finding trouble) in “Utopia”, or the city of lemmings, where everything’s in harmony – woe to anyone who falls out of line, though. “Hunter” is about our favorite Persian cat who runs amuck in the wilderness. “Jellaby, The Tea Party” is about a girl and her purple dinosaur/monster, having a tea party with a friend. The wordless monster Jellaby is adorable (we’ll see a lot more of Jellaby, all through the rest of Flight), and it’s a cute, well-drawn little story. “The Rescue” is similar, and even better, as a young boy and his monster race through the forest, in pursuit by a hunting party of sorts. Of course, things are never as they seem – are the hunters out to save the boy from the monster, or are the hunters the aggressors? Great fluidity, action and surprises. A third such story, “the Lumbering Beast”, is about a young girl and the zany lumbering beast she meets in the swamps. Great closing shot of the girl and her beast on the swings. (Notice how none of the past three stories have anything to do with flight?) “Saturday” is a wordless strip about a water beast the comes to town and does cute things. Next. “The Cloud” is a silly piece by the great Bill Plympton about clouds that control their shapes (and thereby break cloud decorum). Well… at least it’s about flight!! Yoko Tanakas “The Espresso Police” is probably the best entry so far in any Flight story – it is about Earl D, his assistant Gnocchi, and their mission to warn unsuspecting beatniks about… bad espresso!! The piece is done in full-on style with gothic black and sepia and is a beautiful thing to see. “Our job is done. Let’s go home and have a good night’s sleep.” For Daniel, whoever he is. “Polaris” is a cute tale of a girl who floats that becomes quite dark. Beautiful and sad. “In Due Time” is about a guy who studies and doodles and smokes and flans (he’s a flaneur). He also has a cute new divorcee roommate and his mind breaks out into strange fantasy sequences. Interesting. Kazu Kibuishi’s “The Iron Gate” is about kids and war and fighting a tank that has… kids in it! It’s largely wordless. “Message In A Bottle” is a subway tale of mistaken intentions and smiley faces. Sorta nice, very stylish… “So Far So Close” is about a boy spotting a girl to love on the bus. Pretty, but juvenile. “Voodoo” is a very cool tale of perspectives. It’s wordless in the sense that the whale’s language can’t be understood (is that Hangul in the word balloons?), the birds come and go and try to fly him places. Very nice indeed. “Sad Astra” is about a canyon jumping cat with nine lives. “Conquest” is about viking battles (huh?). “Tea” is about a samurai fox meeting a warlock (?!?). “What… is my name!” “Hungry Swarm” is a truly weird story about bizarre future alien forces in a strange hibernation chamber/sarcophagus, tiger lizards, the works. Crazy! “Wurmer Of The West” is a cute little warrior adventure tale of Wurmer, his good dragon, and a bad dragon. Oh yeah, Wurmer has a sword too (love the name “Wurmer”, by the way); it can cut through anything and he’s a bit insecure about it (he’d rather not rely on something that’s all-powerful… reminds me of something from another volume of Flight). “The Brave Sea” is a cool story about a walrus that saves a killer whale, then saves his people from being slaughtered by hungry sharks. Nice! “The great bunny migration” is a hilarious juvenile story about the bunnies of a distant planet who migrated here because birds stole their abilities to make milkshakes, so they caught stars that would bring them to Earth (and paid them in discounted milkshakes. Weird! “Snow Cap” is a cool-but-silly story about a girl who runs into a thing that bites… and then the mother of the thing that bites!! Finally, “Lala and the Bean” is a short but sweet grotesquerie about another sort of beanstalk!

F4

F4

Flight, Volume Four – Another fantastic collection of cool little stories, all of them innocent, many of them involving talking pet sidekicks, anthropomorphic casts, fantasy lands, and some wordless processions of beautiful images that tell their own stories. Wow!

The book starts off with another one of Michael Gagne’s fantastic Rex stories, this one called “Castaway”; where our little starfox is on a planet that sports cool-looking tribal tattoos, incredible walking tree beasts, friendly monster civilisations that take him to their cyclopean city, where we learn something truly amazing about our little Rex and an ancient prophesy. “Food From The Sea” is a very cool tale of a Korean village torn between eating shellfish and regular fish, with the war of the shellfish-seller and the fish-monger becoming truly grotesque. Fantastic art!! “Farewell, Little Karla” is probably one of the best stories I’ve read in Flight – it starts off as a cute little kids tale of young Karla setting out on a life mission, having finished the preparations of her teachers, and what we get is a giant robot hipster tale. Love Karla’s cap, a present from her principal, and the picture of her sweating in concentration as she sets forth. Lovely!! The layout of the cells is also very inventive, just a great story all around!! “Cyclops!” by Israel Sanchez is a beautiful wordless story about the cyclops that live in our midst, drawn in a homey, farm-y way. It’s long and amazing and I love it. “Little Trouble in the Big Top” is a cool tale of circus performers, particularly two portly mustachioed twins who fall in love with the same woman. Or is that a “woman”? Nice ending, cool personality development, even if the two look a little bit too much like Thomson and Thompson. “The Window Makers”, by series editor Kazu Kibuishi, is also lovely and fantastical, and talks about people following their dream. Nice windows!! “…And Hope For The Best” has a young couple pondering the joys of adulthood and wondering when/if they want to become parents and see the next generation through. Nice art, nice fantasising. “The Forever Box”, set in my home of Toronto, is an interesting tale of a girl and her two brothers and the forever box that they find, that she sets to dreaming in. Not really sure what happens here – what’s real, what is fantasy – but it’s a beautiful tale, and beautifully-drawn, with plenty of character and sepia. “The Blue Guitar” by Neil Babra is a nice tale of a man trying to make sense of life, his failing farm, his bad luck, and his guitar. “Igloo Head and Tree Head” is a very cool story about a world where all of the creatures have something on their head – an igloo with a fire burning inside (and little Inuit families), a tree with a tire-swing (that gets chopped down by a little lumberjack, causing a huge problem for Tree Head). Tree Head and Igloo Head go into the city to solve Tree Head’s little problem, and Igloo Head develops a problem of his own. Hilarious and surreal, and the pair’s commentary about the various “heads” (like the trick that they always play on the two warring Castle Head guys, or the gloomy Cannonball Head) that they meet is just hilarious. An illustration of the Mayan folk tale “The Rabbit Mayor” is surreal and interesting (and dark), while “Roomie-Pal”, about a guy checking into a motel and ordering a Roomie-Pal to keep him company is really awesome.

“From Here To There” is a nice little tale about anthropomorphic creatures in town, a guy’s reunion with an old flame, catching up… it could be cliche, but with a cast of talking animals it’s kind of cool. Nice art too. “Tripod” is a weird wordless tale about a space invader that has pity on a young boy (it’s also the first story since Rex’s “Castaway” to have anything that flies). “The Vampyres of Salem” is told through pictures and long text passages, and is a bit boring. “The Storm”, also a wordless collection of cells, tells the tale of a break-up, a guy wandering the streets and remembering. Next. “Big Wheels” romanticises the old Big Wheel tricycles some of us had as kids, with the story flowing at 90 degrees from the others, meaning that you have to turn the book on its side to read it. Other than that, nothing interesting about this (and no flight either). “To Grandma’s” is a nice twisted little relationship story about Goldilocks and the wolf, the twist is at the ending of course. “Dinosaur Egg” is a childhood idyll about camp activities – what is the dinosaur egg, then? “It’s Dangerous To Sleep” is autobiographical, not very well drawn, not very interesting, but with cool depictions of dreams and nightmares. Good. “Mystical Monkey” is a good story, told in four episodes, of a young boy who goes to a meditation camp to learn about his power animal (his is a monkey), and the lessons that he learns about controlling his fantasies. Very well written indeed, even if the art is a bit cartoonish! “The Story of Binny” is the tale of a young boyish girl who frees a binturong from the zoo (it’s a bearcat, whatever that is – yeah, I had to look it up too, since I’d never heard of the animal), develops a relationship with it, and then takes it back to Malaysia. Nicely-drawn, with a well-planned control of color, and an interesting story. “Cortina” is a story about a couple dancing. Yawwwwwnnnn… next. “Twenty-four Hours” by Andrea Offermann is sheer brilliance, just love it. Wordless cells laid out in extremely creative ways (one to seven on a page, never the same combination twice) tell the tale of a city, a young couple in an apartment in a building in the city who wake up to find an invasion of machines and marching giant elephants. Their city is dismantled, installed inside the elephants, who wander the earth and eventually walk off its edge and form a new world. Wow!! This is flight on all the literal and figurative levels, just beautiful. Closing story, “The Perfect Spot”, is about a man and his rabbit and it’s about nothing except wandering in the wilderness. Nice as a closing moment, even if it doesn’t have a message…

F5

F5

Flight, Volume Five – Predictable, and thanks for that, Flight Volume 5 launches with another episode of the Saga of Rex, this one “the Broken Path” sees our young starfox saving the planet of his worshipers from an asteroid. Cool ancient carvings, with a spot of crumbling mystery. Very nice indeed! “The Aqueduct” is a very cool adventure starring Delilah Dirk, International Mistress of Swordsmanship, and her trusty manservant Selim And-Al Rahim, a cool young Turish scholar, who accompanies (some says “aids”, some say “guides”) his mistress in surviving a crash landing, then a land attack. There’s an aqueduct involved, some escaping from a tight jam, some clever banter (the screenplay is nearly as good as the fluid action), and there’s a bit of swordsmanship too. Hilarious! “The Dragon” is a cool tale of a samurai fox encountering an alien robot in a snowbound Japanese mountain village. It’s tons better than the closing scene of The Wolverine, which… you have to wonder if the guys who wrote the screenplay read Flight!! Great fluid action in this one too (but no flight). “Beisbol 2″ continues from an earlier Flight tale that shows a cool little baseball fan collecting signatures from his baseball heroes, before he meets our hero Francisco Sanchez, and the dastardly jerk Bopper; here we also discover the fate of the baseball young Francisco got from his kind neighbour in Cuba. “The Courier” is a sweet story by Flight series editor Kazu Kibuishi, about a courier bopping around a Coruscant-like future city on “one last mission”. Nice touch. “Malinky Roboy” by Sonny Liew is kind of strange – an existential tale of a robot in the employ of an old man as a domestic helper, gaining awareness (and growing a spine). “Worry Dolls” is an absurd Small Soldiers-like tale of little Guatemalan worry dolls helping a struggling actor solve his problems. There’s sleepwalking, a foiled robbery, and a lost pair of mini-glasses going on here. Nice. In this book we also get another great tale of Igloo Head and Tree Head; this time Igloo Head finds a way to trick Tree Head – by wearing a disguise (as missile head). They trick the War Heads into accepting them into their clubhouse, and get them to become less war-like. It’s something to hope for, I guess, and a great tale (but not as long or as nice as the previous one – hey, I’m not complaining, they’re both great). “Evidence” is a great 12-cells-to-a-page tale about a dog finding what he’s not supposed to find (it’s also one of the rare “adult” tales in the Flight series). “N” is a wordless tale about a ninja taking on a whole horde of ninjas. Pretty. “The Changeling” is a painted set of beautiful images and text about a young girl who gets involved with faeries. Haven’t figured it out yet, but it’s beautiful. “Mountains” is a cool tale of a surrealistic landscape of giant fish/creatures. Love it!!! “And They Called Me… Bigdome”, being the Aeronautical Adventures of Myles Preston Thackerly III, a tale called “Flowers for Mama” is very cool – a weird Flying Helmet brings Bigdome back to the base, where nobody believes he caused a flying robot to be destroyed in a tapering tunnel, after gathering a bouquet for his mother. Straggelers on mountaintops, this one has it all!! Great art like a top notch Heavy Metal story, but not as risque. Love it too!! “The Chosen One” is a bit silly, an ironic kiddy tale about kids who believe that they are “the One”, a la The Matrix. The only so-so tale in the book. There’s another subtle Jellaby story, “Lost”, that isn’t about much, but is charming as hell. “Two Kids”, like the Jellaby story, is about people who are lost in the woods (sheesh – why does Kazu Kibuishi put same-themed non-flight stories back-to-back like this? This is not the first time he’s done it…). “Scenes In Which The Earth Stops Spinning And Everybody Flies Into A Wall” is just exactly that (it’s sort of flight-y too!), drawn with a cool shocking pink and Tang orange and electric lime and powder blue color scheme. I particularly like the bungee jump that goes vertical at the moment, and the wimpy kid who wins the long-jump with his well-timed leap. “Timecat” is a great tale about a cat that can move forward into the future – at a speed of sixty minutes per hour. Sadly, it’s a typically-cute “feed me” cat tale. Oh well. “Voyage” is beautiful wordless art about a polar bear that goes floating off on an ice floe, encountering pollution. Gorgeous, stunning art. “On The Importance Of Space Travel” is about a weird little girl who tells everyone in class she’s from Pluto (she actually is from Pluto too, that’s the weird thing). “Seasons” by Frank and Frank is really about nothing (a bear, a rabbit, a tree, a tube, the passing of the seasons…), but it’s great nonetheless.

F6

F6


Flight, Volume Six – Flight Volume Six starts off with another of Michel Gagne’s The Saga of Rex stories, this one called “soulmates”, where our starfox Rex and his lovely mystical starfoxette explore weird transformation and astral voyaging through mystic alien orbs and altars and who knows what all else. There’s crazy stuff that Rex is a witness to that seems to be a part of his spouse’s world, and all sorts of magic gook going on, before the pair voyages with all sorts of other beastie pairs to an earth-like planet, where they experience the change of the seasons and welcome a companion fox. The story ends abruptly (are there missing pages here?). Next up is a splendid episode of “The Excitingly Mundane Life of Kenneth Shuri”. Ken is a ninja, but he’s out of work, and his wife is sick of supporting him and the two kids on a librarian’s salary. The ending shows the world’s coolest cartoon ninja group duel-to-the-death. Fantastic scripting, and very cool felt tip marker art. Love it!! Fantastic how author and artist JP Ahonen pulls this off!! “Phantom, a Daisy Kutter adventure, is a cool tale of the wild west, and Daisy Kutter is a female detective who looks like a lost character from a Lupin Sansei episode. She drifts into a town where the sheriff is having trouble with a ghoul. She wanders a haunted house with her six-shooters, encountering a robot ghoul and the ghosts of his victims, finishing it off neatly, before moving on. Atmospheric as hell, and a job well done. Probably Kazu Kibuishi’s best tale so far. “Magnus The Misfit” is a funny and stylish tale of a goofy Viking who survives a voyage to the new world by being goofy and stylish. Very nice. “Dead At Noon” is a wordless high noon tale of a drunk farmhand confronting the landowner who done his woman wrong. Each panel is lovingly drawn and supremely expressive. It’s like the first 10 minutes of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, where also not a word is spoken – nor does any need to be. Supreme. “Epitaph” is a cool tale of two men and a robot crossing the desert. Short, sweet and stylish. “Walters” is a strange, painterly, wordless episode about a sensitive young man who remembers his youth, remembers seeing an angel, and tries to recapture the moment by floating away on helium balloons. A hard tale to follow, but beautiful nonetheless, and very rich in fantasy and motion. “Mate” is a stylish, wordless tale of birds who become bunnies overnight through some strange construction/deconstruction process. Amazing. “Kidnapped” by Rad Sechrist is a cool, colourful tale of samurais, kidnapping, winter swordsplay, blood on snow, and all sorts of other groovy stuff. “Cooking Duel” is a silly tale of who can make the better mushroom quiche, a guy or his girlfriend. Big deal. “Dead Bunny” is a sort of “Are You My Mother” about a zombie rabbit in search of its true love before its heart gives out. Sorry, this one’s not a winner, nor is “The Zs and the Attack of the Early Bird”, which is a Calvin and Hobbes ripoff that is too dumb to describe, suffice it involves a young boy on the eve of a fishing trip, his talking teddy bear, an all-nighter, the Early Bird and a pit full of night-crawlers. At least the Jellaby episode, “Hide And Seek”, is charming and fun. “Fish ‘n’ Chips” is a dumb superhero adventure starring a goldfish (in a bowl, but with a cyborg body to make it mobile on land) and a lame cat hero of some sort, fighting the Holo-Clam fishbowl-tank and his attack dog and killer crab. Yawwwnnnn… The final tale, “Long Winded”, about a young raccoon-girl asking her grandfather what makes the wind go, is a charmer with a lot of life to it.

F7

F7


Flight, Volume Seven – Flight Seven starts off with another of Michel Gagne’s tales of Rex, but this is the first one that includes text. It is largely a re-telling of Rex’s tale from Issue six, not sure why this had to be… “The Courier” is a sweet tale by Kazu Kibuishi that tells another tale of a courier; what’s interesting about this one is that, although nothing of great interest happens, we basically see the bird-and-rider from the covers of the previous issues of Flight! So now we know who the bird-rider is and what he’s all about! “Live Bait” is about crusty animals, especially a crazy muskrat on a mission to kill the swamp beast that’s killed his brothers. Beautifully-drawn and written tale. Next up is another amazing tale of Kenneth Shuri, “The Big Sweep”, where he continues his life as a janitor. He also tells cool ninja fairy tales to his daughter (Little Red Riding Hood obliterates the wolf with her kung-fu, for example). Of course, when she starts to get feisty at school, problems arise that somehow get tied up with Ken’s boss at work and an assassin hired to take Ken out – of course, there’s a great battle at this point (love it when Ken throws his name badge by mistake, thinking it’s a shuriken). Very nice indeed, and cool “asshole boss” and “lame principal” caricatures. “Premium Cargo” is a beautiful tale of a flying ship that is bringing an angel back to heaven, and the relationship that the pilot develops with the beautiful boy. A bit strange, the images sometimes a bit off, but incredibly beautiful nonetheless, especially the sunset cloudscapes (great cloud turtles, too). “Sustain This Song” is a surrealistic ode to all the soldiers that have ever been throughout history, and a look into what makes them tick, including joyous homecomings and returns to their homelands. “Overhead” is a tale of a floodland apocalypse where nothing of interest happens. “Onere and Piccola” is an Atlas-like tale of celestial love and star-crossed lovers. Beautiful art. “Fairy Market” is a silly tale of a Jack being sent to market, but he just buys stupid over-priced fairy crap. Oh well, not every story is going to be as good as “The Big Sweep”. “I’ve Decided To Become A Skeptic” is just as silly, but at least it’s short, at four pages. The Jellaby tale, “Guardian Angel”, is a story of how Jellaby helps his buddies Portia and Jason hook up with the people that they like at a birthday party. It’s a slow-moving tale, but charming nonetheless (and generous with its length – over 20 pages of Jellaby!! “Career Day” is a silly tale of a warrior who takes his younger brother to work with him one day as he does his barbarianizing, not so great (nicely disgusting battle with a chthonic demon thing at the end, though). “Sentinels” is about forest spirits and protecting nature. Nice. “King Of Beasts” is a cool beast battle story that is well-drawn, with also exquisite word bubbles. Very nice indeed, and I love the warrior heroine Princess with her serpent Naga, one of the serpents of the head of Medusa, Princess’ deadly adversary. “TT Challenge” is a sepia tale of a motorcycle race on the Isle of Man in 1922. The final tale, “BLT”, is about a bacon lettuce and bologna sandwich (no more bacon that day) and the sorrows of wandering thoughts. Nice story.

F8

F8


Flight, Volume Eight

Explorer, The Mystery Boxes – This is the new series that Kazu Kibuishi launched after finishing Flight with eight issues. It’s less satisfying than the classic Flight omnibus, which collected amazing stories from extremely talented young artists and storytellers around the rough concept of “flight” (as in literal flight, flights of fancy, anything…). The Explorer concept seems to be about breaking open boxes, and all of the seven stories in it are fairly weak. “Under The Floorboards” is a creepy little tale of a girl who discovers a weird wax doll that grows into its troublesome doppelgänger. She learns more and more about it as it grows and begins to step into her role. Probably the scariest tale that Kibuishi has ever had in his collections. The girl is saved by luck (or fate), and we move on to “Spring Cleaning”, a silly story of magical items and warring wizards. Lame. “The Keeper’s Treasure” is an interesting tale of a boy on a treasure hunt and the friendly (or is he?) ogre that he comes across. Nice. The Butter Thief” is a pretty okay story about a Japanese grandmother who captures an imp; the old woman’s curious granddaughter frees the imp and is turned into one for her troubles. Now she sees the spirit world, so it is a bit Spiderwick-y, which is nice. The art of Rad Sechrist is, as always, excquisite. “The Soldier’s Daughter” is an odd tale of a girl who goes to war to avenge her fallen father, but rediscovers the priorities of life through the intervention of a… messenger? “Whatzit” is a strange tale of mischief on a DHL ark transporting a display of our solar system to outer realms. Funny, but also quite unnecessary. “The Escape Option” is a tale by editor Kibuishi about an ET-like craft that takes a human sample from earth, but only briefly, as the sample turns out to be wise… I can’t figure that last one out.

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