REVIEW: Airboy #3

Story By: James Robinson
Art By: Greg Hinkle
Cover By: Greg Hinkle
Published: August 5, 2015

Writers and artists often use their work to say something about themselves, their life choices or other things that are important to them. Some creators are very vocal about which part of themselves are in play.

With Airboy that ideal is etched throughout, with both writer James Robinson and artist Greg Hinkle taking starring roles with Airboy taking them under his wing, so to speak. Talking about Airboy seems like the wrong track to take; the book is clearly about its creators.

James Robinson has had his critics. Sure, his Starman and JSA work is exemplary and sure, he took some stick for his Justice League stuff most notably Cry for Justice and the reason he was asked to do Fantastic Four based on his work with “classic” characters didn’t pan out as predicted. This is my first reading of Airboy and I was struck at how honest Robinson’s self-critique was. It’s clear that he has some issues and am sure that it is somewhat therapeutic but reading it issue after issue may cause its own problems down the line, even for an English guy like me who appreciates the art of self-deprecation.

I haven’t seen a lot of Greg Hinkle’s work before so I approached this with an open mind. His style, in this book doesn’t necessarily make me go wow at first glance, but you have to look at context. Reading the book, do you honestly think the book would suit a straight up super-hero artist? The answer is clearly no so due must be given. The cartoony element adds to the somewhat trippy environment, which is more than suggested throughout the story, as does the image of how Hinkle sees himself.

And that is one of the problems that people may have with the book. Now, it’s a matter of public record how some creators use either drugs or alcohol to help give them their creative buzz. For me, I don’t mind. I am way too liberal to care what other people do. Do you have to have that same buzz to enjoy the book? I can’t answer that. What I can say is I read this book, sober as a judge and found it to be funny and a little unsettling at times, which I think is the overall aim as calling yourself out for your flaws is very brave.

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