Stories Around the World


Daytripper #1

This is a new series by Brazilian twin brothers Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, who have done art chores for “The Umbrella Academy” and “Casanova,” along with other comics here and there. This one focuses on Brás de Oliva Domingos, a Brazilian man working as an editorial writer. His father is a famous writer, and Brás would like to be a writer, too, but outside of work, he’s plagued by writer’s block. On his birthday, he goes, somewhat unwillingly, to an event for his father, visits a bar for some smokes… and gets an unwelcome surprise.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oooh, did I not have enough description up there? Was it all a bit vague? Too bad, perfesser — it’s got a nice shocker of a cliffhanger, and I don’t much wanna spoil it. But the art is beautiful, the dialogue and characterization are first-rate, and the whole thing is extraordinarily intriguing. I’m looking forward to seeing where this one will lead us.


The Unwritten #8

This one is actually something of a flashback to previous issues of this series, but this time, our focus is on Chadron, the warden of the French prison where Tom Taylor is being held — and in particular, on Chadron’s two children. Chadron is himself a huge fan of the Tommy Taylor fantasy novels and engages in a lot of imaginative roleplaying with young Cosi and Peter, but his wife is no fan of all the foolishness. She’s concerned that the children — Cosi especially — are dwelling too deeply in their fantasy world. Cosi draws magic symbols on the windows and attacks a couple of schoolmates while pretending to cast magic spells. A psychiatrist diagnoses her with a mild psychosis — she has trouble telling fantasy from reality. But can the children’s faith in the Tommy Taylor fantasy save their father and the real Tom Taylor?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I was kinda hoping we’d get to meet the warden’s family a bit more, as he’s developed into an unexpectedly fascinating character — part hard-nosed prison administrator, part doting, fantasy-loving father. The rest of the family seems equally interesting, from the children’s utter faith in the Tommy Taylor fiction, to their mother’s complete hostility about the fantasy lives that she can’t join.


Strange #2

Last issue, Stephen Strange taught a minor vanishing spell to Casey and magicked up her glasses so they’d be able to see the capital-T Truth of anything she looked at. Now she’s trying to track Strange down again to see if he can teach her more magic, and in the process, she’s making a lot of stuff vanish — irritating cell phones, parking tickets, a moving van. She runs into a few people who claim they know who Stephen Strange is, but they’re all either con men or lunatics — or, in one case, a demonic monster who’s willing to eat her for asking the wrong questions. Luckily, Strange shows up to save her, and is surprised that Casey is still able to use the small spells that he meant to be temporary — but it turns out the vanishing spell doesn’t really make things vanish — it just sends them to another dimension. And the sole inhabitant of that dimension is tired of Casey using his dimension as a junkyard. Strange and Casey have to pay the interdimensional monster a visit to beg him not to kill them — but is he going to be willing to listen to a couple of mostly-powerless humans?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m still enjoying this much-more relaxed version of Dr. Strange, and the characterization for Casey — midway between a spoiled rich girl with abandonment issues and a quick-thinking magical neophyte who can’t plan more than two seconds ahead — is also a lot of fun.

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