One of the coolest things about about working in the comic book industry is meeting really cool and talented people. The most awesome thing about working in the comic book industry is finding out that these really cool and talented people have impressive works. I’ve talked here before about Brandon Easton: I reviewed his book, Shadowlaw, my voice can be heard on his podcast, Writing for Rookies and admittedly, he and I have become Facebook buddies – we play Words with Friends every so often. But last night, when I was reading Miles Away, written by Anthony Montgomery and Brandon Easton, I was really impressed. It would be easy to say that I’m writing a positive review because Easton and I know each other but that’s just too easy and the way you can prove me right is going out and reading this book right now.
In all honesty, I was not terribly driven to read and review Miles Away. It’s kinda not my thing. There’s no death or swearing and on its face looks like a book just for kids. I was much more interested in Shadowlaw, a book about mechs and vampires – right up my alley. Miles Away is about a little kid that gets super powers and fights crime. I think I’ve read a book or two about that kind of thing before. But Montgomery and Easton do something a-lot-a-bit different with that setting. There is an amazing amount of honesty and ingenuity that went into this floppy first issue.
Miles Away is honest because it is easy to see a mature selection of details. The protagonist is black but that does not matter and is not forced into being a part of the story; it’s just who he is. His best friend happens to be a fat white kid and he happens to have a huge crush on a white girl. But it’s real and honest in the way that the characters interact and make the reader want to see them progress. And it’s in the details of the comic book where I want to talk about ingenuity. As I said before, the core concept of the book is pretty well-covered in terms of comic books. But Montgomery and Easton gave me a world of very specific spins and nuances that made me want to read more. In that way, I would liken Miles Away to Kirkman’s Invincible. Invincible is essentially the Superman-mythos turned on its head and made contemporary. Miles Away has much the same flavor and potential and I can’t wait to read more.