In this feature, I ask comic creators that I like a lot to recommend a great comic that they’d like to see spotlighted. They pick the comic and then I write a review of the comic (of course, this runs the risk of them picking a comic that I don’t like, but there’s so many great comics out there to pick from that I find it hard to believe that that will ever actually happen).
I was doing this as a weekly feature earlier this year, but I didn’t think it was getting enough attention, so I figured I would instead do it every day this month, make it a bit of a thing. Draw some attention to these great books being recommended!
Today’s creator is Mike Dawson. Dawson is a great cartoonist best known for his graphic novels Freddie & Me: A Coming of Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody and Troop 142. His upcoming graphic novel is a collection of short stories called Rules For Dating My Daughter. The title story is available to read here. It’s very good, which makes sense, since Mike is a very good cartoonist. His choice is Joshua W. Cotter’s upcoming graphic novel, Nod Away.
As longtime followers of the blog might know by know, I’ve long been a huge admirer of Cotter’s debut graphic novel, Skyscrapers of the Midwest. So it is should come as no surprise to learn that his long-awaited SECOND graphic novel is also excellent (well, what I’ve read of it, that is – the finished work that is coming out in February 2016 will have roughly 100 extra pages, as Cotter only serialized the first 120 pages or so)
Nod Away tells the story (set in the relatively near-future) of a doctor named Melody McCabe who is sent to a space station to help with an interdimensional wormhole to help ultimately save the human race (as we’ve depleted our own natural resources, and thus need a new planet to live on).
The brilliant aspect of Cotter’s work is the slow burn – we get to really know Melody and her adjustment to her new job (including the estrangement with her husband) and then we slowly but surely learn more about the science of what is going on and the more we learn, well, the creepier things get.
You see, the key figure in all of this is a little girl named Eva, who has some sort of mental power that is being used as the basis for a new version of the internet that connects all the people of the world. Melody is one of the rare people who genetically cannot “stream,” so she is not linked to the telepathic internet. There are certain side effects to the whole thing, one is that a dumb old cartoon series that Eva loves has now become the most popular television show in the world, as she has subtly influenced everyone’s tastes (there are some clever bits where Melody challenges how good Franklin actually is and people just can’t believe it).
Cotter’s detailed, character-driven artwork is great and he really tells the story well. The whole thing is paced impeccably.
I just love the sense of dread that follows everything…
I also love the sexism Melody has to deal with. It’s just so well captured and so realistic. Lecherous old man scientists, boorish military personnel – cliches, perhaps, but pretty accurate ones.
I can’t wait until the final graphic novel comes out! You can read the serialized version of the story here.
Thanks for the recommendation, Mike!
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