Monday, October 8, 2012


CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE VOL. 1 (Avatar, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Crossed: Wish You Were Here weekly web comic Chapters 1-19 (posted dates March 22, 2012- August 30, 2012)
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Javier Barreno
Here we are, five hardcovers into the Crossed collected editions. (I count the Crossed 3-D original graphic novel- your mileage may vary.) While Crossed: Wish You Were Here has plenty of the over the top violence and gore that we have come to expect from the sick f*cks at Avatar Press, there is a more emphasis on the characters than the mayhem this time out. For the first time since this series began, we have suspense and tension inserted into the mix.
Things move at a slower pace, and the people in the camp of the Calf of Cava almost wish for something to happen. The problem is that things start to happen. Then things really start to happen, and the book ends. Aaaarrgggghhh!! Now we have to wait for Volume 2 to see what happens. Or you can visit the website and get a new episode each week. I'll just wait for the hardcover, as I loathe digital comics. Hey you, get out of the way of my tar pit!
This is written in a narrative by the star of the series, a writer by the nickname of Shaky (short for Shakespeare). We see the events presented in a semi-linear fashion, but with flashbacks and diary writing filling in the blanks later. This is reminiscent of the seemingly out of sequence time slips in the original Crossed series. We still don't have an answer as to what originally caused the Crossed to become...well, the Crossed. We know how the infection is transmitted, but we don't know the cause nor do we know the cure. I am cool with that. I like to be left begging for more rather than having all of the answers.
It is also cool how the events in all of the Crossed series take place in roughly the same space of time. They could do a million issues, since this is apparently occurring simultaneously all over the globe. 
I do have a nit-picky type of complaint. There is a small disclaimer in the indicia that states that all actions are portrayed by characters 18 years of age or older, yet one of the female characters is 15 years of age and is clearly doing things with people, implied or otherwise, that are inappropriate and do not comply with that statement. I don't really give a rat's ass myself. Just sayin', as them Millennials are wont to say.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Like all Avatar Press hardcovers, this has no dustjacket. Instead, the image is printed on the hardback itself and sealed in a super thick, wax-like coating that is extremely durable and nice. The paper is a decent weight coated stock. The book has sewn binding, but the casing is glued square into the spine. Fortunately, the book isn't very thick, so it lays reasonably flat in one hand while reading. This is the ideal way to read books under 300 pages, in one hand like a periodical.
Oh, and why is it that the softcover (trade paperback) releases always have cooler covers than the hardcovers? It's madness I tells ya! Madness!
Paper rating: 4 out of 5.
Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Hardcover coating rating: 5 out of 5.

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