CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE VOL. 2 (Avatar, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects Crossed: Wish You Were Here Web comic Collects Crossed: Wish You Were Here Web comic Volume 2 Chapters 1-24 (originally posted online on October 4, 2012 -May 2, 2013)
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Fernando Melek (pencils) and Keith Williams (inker)
Only a format junkie like myself would willingly buy what he could get for free. This is a web comic, published online at http://www.crossedcomic.com/category/the-webcomic/ . I don't like reading comic books on a screen, so I wait for the hardcover. This is not a paper vs. digital argument; I'm merely stating my personal preference. My format of choice for comic books is dead trees...bound in a hardback. Your mileage may vary.
For those of you who don't know what Crossed is about, it's really simple. An affliction of unknown origin causes people to lose all inhibition and moral centers, resulting in bloodshed and mayhem. They are called the Crossed because they get a rash or broken blood vessel pattern shaped like a cross on their face.
Shaky, the star of our story in the Wish You Were Here line, has become a manipulative prick. While I cannot say how I would react in a do or die, every man for himself post-apocalyptic world like the one portrayed in this series, I would hope that I would treat people as more than Crossed bait. He seems to be modeling himself after the nutjobs that he encounters along the way.
And yes, you do get a heaping helping of bloodshed and over the top violence. The thing that I found the most interesting about this arc is that most of the mayhem is caused by the normal humans in the expedition party and not the Crossed themselves. Shaky's not done yet, either. It will be interesting to see how low he can go. There is a new episode posted nearly every week, but I will wait for the third hardcover to see where it goes from here.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Avatar seems to be scaling back their hardcover releases. They are going to become Direct Market exclusives with lower print runs in the not-too-distant future. This appeals to the OCD collector in me.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. Decent weight glossy coated stock.
Binding rating: 4.25 out of 5. This book has sewn binding, but the casing is glued square to the spine. The result is a tight binding, but it loosens up and the book lays reasonably flat in one hand as you read it. It lays much flatter after you've read it once.
Hardback cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Avatar Press' super thick waxy coating is the gold standard for these dustjacket-free books.