I have a confession to make — initially, when this comic landed in my inbox, I was more than a little apprehensive. You see, I’ve read quite a few ‘semi-autobiographical’ comics over the years, and I’m sad to say that the majority of them have turned out to be little more than hollow, self-indulgent fluff.
Fortunately however, How i Made The World easily managed to overcome my (possibly unfair) preconceptions by putting together a genuinely interesting take on what could potentially be a fairly everyday situation. And for a story that essentially revolves around college student Liz finding herself forced to take a sculpture class when her ‘dream’ poetry class turns out to be full, then battling her own creative demons as she attempts to pass her midterm, this is an impressively immersive read.
Experiencing the world through daydreamer Liz’s inner monologue, and seeing her twist the mundane into something truly epic time and time again is something I found instantly relatable, and in spite of a complete lack of action or conflict, this story genuinely had me hooked within just a few pages.
One of the main selling points for this book is undoubtedly going to be the charming, understated artwork of Randy Michaels. Using a clean black and white approach, Michaels shows a definite knack for what I guess you’d call ‘cartoony realism’, adding a much-needed humorous edge to Liz and her exploits. His style remains fairly under control for the most part, occasional breaking loose with some beautiful page layouts before slipping back into the regulated style. It’s an approach that works well to echo the flow of the story itself, with Liz’s sense of drama and excitement ebbing and flowing as the midterm deadline approaches.
“Catman”, the second, shorter story in this issue shifts the tone completely, providing a wonderfully charming tale where a younger Liz recalls her Uncle convincing her that her childhood cat was actually a man trapped in a cat’s body. Silly, perhaps, but the sense of whimsy and recollections of the innocence of our own youth is something I, once again, found incredibly relatable. And as before, both writer and artist combine beautifully to tell this intimate, nostalgic tale.
Now, I’m fully acknowledging that this comic may not be for everyone, as for the most part it is very much a slow-moving character piece about… well… a girl making a sculpture. That said, I think that a lot of people like myself who have grown up on the “Wham’s” and “Kapow’s” of Batman and Daredevil will definitely be able to find something that resonates within these pages. And while, based on outward appearances, this wasn’t a book I was expecting to like, I’m more than happy to be proved wrong on this occasion.
The book is listed in the current edition of Previews, and can be ordered through April 24th for a June release.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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