I have never read a comic book / graphic novel ever. Ever! Even though I live with a total geek who plays XBox at every opportunity, reads as much sci-fi as possible and has a graphic novel reading history (although not in recent years).
Anyway, apart from worrying about being branded a geek myself, I have had no real desire NOT to read graphic novels, it had just not come about. However, I spotted this one available as an Advance Review Copy while I was looking for something for The Man to read, and how could I resist that cute little alien thing on the cover? And it’s purple! I like purple!
OK, obviously I’m far too intellectual and deep to be swayed by looks, and I would never judge a book by its cover, but…well…
Zed is appearing before the Hierachy of the Galaxy to present his invention, along with nine other young inventors as part of a competition. There’s a huge crowd gathered from planets across the galaxy to see not just the inventions but also Krah, the loudest rock band in the galazy. Zed’s proud that his parents have also made the journey.
But when he starts the demonstration of his invention, something goes wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong, and our poor little hero ends up having to battle not just for his own life, but also the fate of his home planet.
I loved this. Don’t be swayed by the cutesie little alien, it covers some deep and dark events, and there seem to be a few missing heads within its pages.
Me and The Man read this together last night – it only took us about an hour, and The Girl has just read it. Like me, it was her first graphic novel, and she also loved it! She did say “Ewww!” at a couple of points, but I knew she could deal with it – she is 13! (There were only 2 minor swear words within.) She was more traumatised by the frame where Zed was getting changed and you see what is obviously his little alien willy. When I say traumatised, it wasn’t quite like this moment.
I believe that this book was pulled together from existing stories that Gagné had written over 11 years, and I felt that there were moments that the story didn’t seem to flow very easily but I could forgive it almost anything as the drawings are wonderful! They are a mixture of cutesie, amusing and dark. There were a couple of frame comparisons at the end too which showed an original drawing and how much detail Gagné had added for the final product, which was really interesting.
I will now actively look for more graphic novels – it was great to have something that all three of us could enjoy and discuss.
The Man with his graphic novel experience would give it a good 3.5/5, me 4/5 and The Girl 5/5! Give us more Zed!
Zed: A Cosmic Tale will be released on 12th Feb 2013