Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Wolf 8, originally released June 8th, 2016.
Man is a symbol-making and -using animal. Language itself is a symbolic form of communication. The great writers all used symbols as a means of controlling the form of their fiction. Some place it there subconsciously, discovered it and then developed it. Others started out consciously aware and in some instances shaped the fiction to the symbols.
Drew: I distinctly remember asking my high-school English teacher if she really thought writers consciously employ symbolism. In 1963, Bruce MacAllister had a similar question, but rather than pose it to his teacher, he sent a survey to 150 of the most famous living writers asking them about their use of symbolism. I’m less enamored with the emphasis on authorial intent, but I’m absolutely in love with the audaciousness of that move. Or, rather, I’m in love with the fact that so many writers responded — including Ralph Ellison, whose own use of symbolism so frustrated me when I was in high school. Ellison’s comments stood out to me particularly for the allowance he makes for the symbols to take primacy over other elements, turning a literary device into the very point of the work in question. In short, turning prose into poetry. Ales Kot often attains a similar poetic quality, weaving symbols deep into the fabric of his comics. Wolf 8 finds both new and old symbols once again taking the center stage. Continue reading →
Today, Ryan and Drew are discussing Wolf 1, originally released July 22nd, 2015.
Ryan: Stop me if you have read this comic before: a dark, supernatural noir following a seemingly immortal protagonist and featuring Lovecraftian — oh, yes, that’s Ed Brubaker’s Fatale. Or this one, then: a hard-nosed paranormal detective named Wolf tries to right wrongs in a major American city populated by folkloric — yup, you got it, that isFables. The first issue of Wolf strides over well-trodden territory — really, we have seen this all before. So why, then, does it work so well? Better yet, what is it that Ales Kot is doing better than everyone else? Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Zero 7, originally released April 23rd, 2014.
Taylor: Beaches are memorable places. Most obviously, they are pleasant and warm — a veritable buffet of sensory delights. But beaches are also places of mystery and harbors of the strange. They’re the border between two worlds. On the one side you have dry land, man’s habitat and therefore a place of life. On the other side you have the wet desert of the ocean, a place that while beautiful, can’t sustain human life. However, long ago, man came from the ocean, making the watery depths paradoxically a place of life as well as death for mankind. For these reasons (and others) many gravitate to beaches around the world to enjoy scenery and delights as well as muse on the meaning of all things philosophical. Given these themes, it’s no wonder that Zero now finds itself musing on the sandy boundary. It’s the perfect setting for issue 7, which sees the tides of the narrative shifting in an unexpected and thought provoking direction.