Saturday, August 11, 2012

Review- MEGALEX

MEGALEX (Humanoids, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Megalex Vols. 1-3 (cover dates November, 1999- December, 2010)
Writer: Alexandro Jodorwosky
Artist: Fred Beltran
Like all Humanoids books, this is translated from the original French publication. Les Humanoides Associes published “Tomes” ranging from 48-60 pages, sometimes referred to as “Albums”. The floppy/single comic book is not the format of choice in Europe. Like all Humanoids books, this is also extremely well written and drawn. 
In the introduction by artist Fred Beltran, he states how he drew the first two books on computer and the third by hand on paper. The results are strikingly different. The first two-thirds of the book are spit-shined to perfection, with every line and nuanced color popping off of the page. It's all almost too well done, too perfect. Flipping through this book is like walking through a museum like the Detroit Institute of Arts, where I gawk and linger at all of the art. It's so good that it's almost too much of a distraction to read. The final third of this book was done by hand, and it has a rich, textured look to it. I have to admit that I prefer this, only because Beltran goes to great effort to provide shading by pencil that casts more shadow than on his computer drawn perfection. 
Jodorwosky's tells a cautionary tale about urban sprawl, submitting to technology, the willingness that society has to take care of their problems with drugs, and Government control. These concepts are, unfortunately, not as far fetched as the exaggerations here make them out to be. I am 39, and in my lifetime I have seen the encroachment of technology in every aspect of our lives. Ultimately, we need both nature and technology to survive, and this is the ultimate lesson of Megalex. Maybe I should just embrace SIRI and Skynet and be done with it. 
Subterranean rebellions, vampires, talking animals, prophecies...this book seems to cover all of the bases. It's a total trip, I'm not sure if I got everything out of it the first time through. I plan on re-reading it in the future. There's one thing I am sure of, however: I'm not going to be in line to be for a planned expiration date at age 40.
An example of Beltran's hand drawn artwork. Notice the difference in texture.
The OCD zone- This is my first Humanoids hardcover, and it is beautiful. The cover has the same dustjacket-free, easily scuffable thin coated screen printed image that seems to be so prevalent these days. I handle my books with the utmost care so that they don't get scuffs, but I can't imagine this book holding up well to shelfwear in a comic shop after repeated handling. The paper is a beautiful, thick coated stock, and the book has sewn binding which allows it to lay completely flat from the first page to the last.

What do you, the reader, want to see more of from my blog? More pictures? Less pictures? More detailed plot/synopsis information? More detail in the OCD zone? I am constantly refining my blog and am interested in your feedback.

Follow my blog on Facebook.
Join the cause page if you want make sure that DC keeps up the recent good work on their hardcovers. This group is a watchdog organization dedicated to top notch production values in collected editions.

1 comment:

  1. -I like that you don't spend much time with synopsis, but sometimes you don't mention the events in the book *at all*. Like with the last batch of Morbius issues. I understand they're terrible, but at least giving us some examples of the stupid storylines so we can make fun of them too.

    -OCD Zone is good because it's unique to your reviews. Maybe highlight this section a little more by creating a little ranking system or something, like "Paper quality: 4 (some funny icon) out of 5", "Binding: 3/5" etc

    -It would be good to have a better way of accessing the older reviews. Like when you post a new Captain America tpb review, we could click some links and see your reviews to the previous related trades.

    -Maybe some kind of hall of fame section with expanded reviews of your very favorite trades of all time.

    ReplyDelete