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From Now On

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From Now On back

Malachi Ward


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

Thirteen stylishly illustrated time-twisting science fiction tales from Brandon Graham's PROPHET and ISLAND contributor and cohort. This is much more understated material than the mentalism that is PROPHET. Each yarn here is more of a vignette, though I did start to realise with great delight that a few of the stories do... overlap (I think might be the right choice of word) even if the protagonists don't remotely realise it. It's relatively gently told stuff, but I do mean that in a positive sense. Both in terms of the overall feel of the collection and some of the art, I was actually minded of Ethan Reilly's POPE HATS much more than, say, Box Brown's equally enjoyable AN ENTITY OBSERVES ALL THINGS, which is actually the sort of sanity shaking shenanigans I was expecting.

So whilst the stories are ostensibly science fiction, they are all really character pieces, set against the backdrop of timey-wimey weirdness. In more than a few cases, it has all gone horribly pear-shaped and the characters are somewhere on the sliding scale of trying to pick up the pieces / make the best of a bad situation / desperately avoid a rather painful demise. Some of the stories are definitely more convoluted than others in terms of plot, but overall it's an excellent eclectic spread of different things you can do with a loose conceit.

There are some substantial variations on the art style from story to story too which was a nice touch. Half the tales are black and white, the other half are coloured. A couple reminded me of Chester Brown, some of Joe Daly, also Ethan Reilly as mentioned, plus a bit of Matt Kindt here and there, especially on the coloured strips, and even Ray Fawkes. Malachi is clearly a very versatile and talented artist. Highly recommended.