Review – Shadow Show #3 (of 5) (IDW Publishing)

ShadowShow03-cvrPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writers: Sam Weller, Harlan Ellison
Artists: Mark Sexton, Michael Spicer
Released: 7th of January, 2015

We’ve lived in a world without Ray Bradbury for two-and-a-half years. That’s 31 months. Or a heck of a lot of days. Either way, it’s a long damn time to no longer have one of the greatest science-fiction writers ever to grace this earth, and we’ve only got longer to go from here.

Thank IDW, then, for this anthology series – which is a sequence of comic adaptations of the short stories in the book of the same name – is going to refuse to let us forget him any time soon, and all to our benefit, because taken either as part of the anthology, or indeed as a stand-alone issue, there’re two terrific stories to be had herein.

But perhaps one of the joys here is that regardless of whether or not you’re a pre-existing Bradbury fan, the stories are immediately accessible. The first is entitled ‘Live Forever!’, and tells the very meta story of a journalist who’s secured an opportunity to interview none other than… Ray Bradbury. Rendered beautifully by Mark Sexton, the old author’s smile and anima is readily apparent, and whilst I obviously can’t say that I know the man personally, from what footage we do have of him, it seems to capture him rather elegantly. And suffice to say, not all is as it seems – with the seemingly mundane story taking a distinctly sci-fi twist about half-way through, and ending with a page that is certain to induce many an existential crisis.

The second story is called ‘Weariness’, a short piece by Harlan Ellison inspired by rather bold piece of art by Hubert J Daniel entitled ‘Nirvana’ – telling the story of three of the last beings in the universe as they muse over it coming to an end. Thoughtful, and coming to an elegant conclusion, it’s a beautifully lyrical piece of writing.

Perhaps the only disappointment is that the second story wasn’t adapted into comic form. With the right artist having at it, it could’ve been a wonderfully trippy few pages – though that’s absolutely not to take away from the skill with which the prose is crafted.

Overall, this is a solid read, and if you’ve been enjoying this series thus far, you’ll certainly get a kick out of it – but moreover, as a single issue, it still manages to draw you in to Bradbury’s – and the writers whom he inspired – world. One to pick up, certainly.

Rating: 4/5.

RSavThe Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

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