I’m often drawn to book covers with a sense of design that comes from outside comics. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a distinct style like what JOCK or Mike Mignola brings to books. Other times, it’s an obvious knowledge of “Art” including flow of image and an understanding of art forms like modern surrealism. The Latter is what attracted me to Green Wake. And with some luck the style on the cover is the art I found inside.
Green Wake is beautiful to look at. The style is unorthodox for comic books which is often a boon to me but more importantly, there is a wonderful sense of page layout with a conscience choice to guide the eyes of the reader around the page – excellent storytelling. The surrealist art approach also builds a feel for the world, giving a creepy mood that the story needs to make it feel integrated with the writing.
The writing is smooth with moments of poetry wrapped in, adding to the transcendant air of the book, like Michael Easton’s Soul Stealer and The Green Woman. The otherworldly feel of the Green Wake allows for quirky discussions of reality, death and whether or the not the characters are in hell or purgatory. The reality of the book is the city of Green Wake, where people suddenly appear, torn from what they remember to be their last moments of consciousness. Reading, Green Wake, I was often reminded of Warren Ellis’ Fell, a book where strange events and existence are accepted by most of it’s inhabitants, even if they generally discuss that it is strange.
So what are the failures of Green Wake? Not much. The only thing that I would complain about is that the book becomes a bit daunting at times in that there is so much questioning going on by the characters. One might say that is part of the book but part of the problem in that is the feeling of being overwhelmed at times. Other than this often small problem, give the book a read; it’s beautiful and does something for comics by pushing the medium.