Taking an wide-eyed look at the innocence of youth, FIND – a brand-new one-shot from Sam Read (Exit Generation) and Alex Cormack (Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare) – introduces us to Teddy Chance, an imaginative youngster who spends the majority of his time immersed in books, much to the disapproval of his otherwise disinterested parents. However, rather than becoming a depressing ‘after school special’, Teddy sees only the positive side of this freedom from his parents’ attention, and spends his time indulging his burgeoning curiosity and spirit of adventure.
Filled with imagination and excitement, Teddy’s outlook on the world is refreshingly un-cynical, and his creative instincts are perfectly illustrated via the ‘Captain Splendid’ superhero comic that he permanently carries around with him. When a chance encounter in the woods near his home opens up his world to possibilities he only previously dreamt of, he seizes the opportunity with both hands, throwing himself headlong into the unknown with an almost inspirational sense of positivity.
Writer Sam Read has referred to classic films like Explorers and Flight of the Navigator as some of his main inspirations for this story, something which most definitely shows in the spirit of wide-eyed Speilbergian (that’s a word, right?) enthusiasm that permeates pretty much every panel of this comic. When faced with the unknown, the potentially threatening, Teddy – like so many cinematic youngsters before him – reacts only with curiosity and excitement. This is Elliott in E.T. excitedly throwing the baseball into the shed; a young boy completely devoid of any fear of the unknown who sees only the potential for adventure.
However, as strong as Read’s narrative undoubtedly is, this is most definitely artist Alex Cormack’s showcase, and his stunning visuals inject a whole new level of excitement and enthusiasm to the events which are unfolding. Cartoony enough to avoid things becoming too serious, realistic enough to make sure the story stays relatable, his beautifully cross-hatched figures and jaw-dropping colour work during Teddy’s ‘discovery’ help infuse us as readers with the same sense of wonder that Teddy himself is experiencing. Simply put, this is an absolutely gorgeous book.
As an interesting side-note, I mistakenly read this issue expecting it to be the first part of an ongoing story, and found myself thinking by the final page “well, what else needs to be said?” Thankfully however, I subsequently realised that FIND is actually intended as one-shot, and that subtle difference gives a brilliant sense of poignancy to the final page reveal, providing a tremendous sense of closure to this skilfully crafted self-contained tale.
ComixTribe continues to wisely dip into the rich well of UK talent, and builds on their impressive momentum from the likes of ‘The Standard’ and ‘Then Emily Was Gone’ with this breathtakingly adventurous tale. If you’ve ever been a child (and let’s face it, most of us have), then you’re almost guaranteed to recognise something of yourself in Teddy Chance. Filled with nostalgia, excitement and relentless positivity, FIND is a story that will make you long for the lost innocence of your childhood, for the days when anything seemed possible and adventure was always just around the corner. Highly, highly recommended.
If you want to find out a little more about FIND, you should definitely check out our interview with writer Sam Read, where we chat about the comic – and the small press scene in the UK as a whole. Well worth a read.