Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 196

Wild's End

by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard
Genre notes: sci-fi, adaptation, zoomorphs
3 vols
ISBN: 1608867358 (Amazon)

I'm not super into books about zoomorphs (my longstanding love for Usagi Yojimbo is a notable break from my genreal rule), and I've read enough revamps of War Of The Worlds to last me a lifetime (one even written by Culbard's own occasional creative partner, Edginton). I would have left Wild's End unread (despite praise from elsewhere) had it not been for Culbard's involvement. (I've been a fan of his illustrative storytelling since reading his and Edginton's adaptations of Sherlock Holmes nearly a decade ago.) And happily, Abnett and Culbard pull something magical out of their hat. This is perhaps the first time that I've been excited by an alien invasion story since I read the original War Of The Worlds in fourth grade. Their cast of characters is luminous (sometimes literally) and it's their stories that give life and meaning to the soulless invasion of these foreign beings.

Also, and this is something remarkable. I pretty much never read the prose extras that some authors will include in the back-matter of their comics. I think I read a paragraph and a half of Alan Moore's backmatter for one of the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen issues. That kind of stuff really knocks the wind out of my comics-reading sails. I'm here for the concatenation of word and picture. It's in that chemistry that I find my joy. And I don't know what prompted me to give it a shot, but I devour the back matter in each chapter of Wild's End. They are superbly accomplished and they add so very much to the experience of the story and these characters that the book would feel hollow without them.

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