Image, never ones to shy away from trying something new, have brought out this one shot essentially based in a locked room open world setting. Confused? Under the watchful eye of the Librarian, the library is full of endless possibilities as every page turn bring about changes in environment, visitations and wide awake moments that has the chance of staying with you long after you have finished the book.
Written by W. Maxwell Prince, the book is effectively seven independent stories with the library as the focal point. There is a winsome element to writing, with each story trying to give meaning to the Librarian’s life. As such, its sometimes hard to decipher if the library is a prison or a garden of literature. Each story has a compelling element as the reader tries to determine what is happening. Although the best way to enjoy this book is not to worry about structure or some such, just go with the flow. Even as “real life” intervenes, nothing is simple and straightforward.
The expressive themes in the book allow for a great playground for artist John Amor to run amok and run amok he does, kind of. Each day brings a new challenge for both artist and characters. The art for the most part has a simple and effective feel, that still manages to install a sense of wonder, as if the Librarian himself doesn’t have the faintest clue as to how his world covets his attentions and ministrations. The various worlds and the life within is helped by colourist Kathryn Layno who doesn’t shy away from her task, instead providing a sense of familiarity to proceedings, through a color scheme that mirrors everyone’s mind eye picture of a library.
This comic goes to show how powerful books and stories can be full of good intent, Prince and Amor show the impacts of reading, whether it be the horror of not being able to unread something, to falling into a book and losing yourself. The impact of the stories is somewhat lessened by the conceit at the end. It is as if Prince just ran out of ideas. Maybe he felt that the ideas at the start of the book were too strong, the latter ones potentially not having the same pull. Or maybe he just ran out of pages. Whatever the reason, Prince himself alludes to the doubts and insecurities about being creative, for that, I have to give him a nod of respect. No-one wants their hard work to be pointed at or vilified. No-one intends to create bad book; this is far from being that. It’s book that deserves to be re-read, reflected upon, then read again.
Writing -4 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars
Story By: W. Maxwell Prince
Art By: John Amor
Cover By: Frazer Irving