Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Midnight To Six
Written by: Brian Wood
Art by: Becky Cloonan
Lettered by: Ryan Yount
Do you sit around all day long?
Are you lazy? Restless?
Do you feel that the world and the ‘man’ are out to get you?
Sure, we all do/are! We may suffer our bouts of laziness, lethargy, the yearn to quit our jobs and rise against our oppressors of man. These are things that make us human.. or at least comic book fans. This issue of Demo shows us that we don’t have it that bad. We only complain about our lives, we don’t decide to just not live them.
For those who didn’t check out m Demo #9 review I’ll give you the brief synopsis. Demo is a book by Ait/PlanetLar where each issue is a self-contained story. Many of these stories have related to some sort of supernatural occurence or special power, but not in the standard way. These are not tales of heroes and villains, but of people who live through strange scenerios. They act as you or I would with fears and insecurities that you might not see in someone who’s comic has an ‘X’ in it.
This is one of a few stories during the series that didn’t have some supernatural element to it at all. Take three young kids who are on the verge of becoming the next generation’s burnout, allow them to do so – let sit for 10 years. Review. It’s the conceptual idea of three penultimate slackers whose idea of a good time is not moving out of their parent’s basement while they smoke, drink, and party their lives away. It’s not so horrible a life, but it’s obvious they are missing out on something.
Without giving too much away, one starts to change his mind about how things have been running – one has been working on getting away from their ability to grow for awhile – and the 3rd is the center of this group. He is the one who will never surpass the ideals that the Slacker’s Manifesto has given them. It is his constitution and his law. It is with this concept that we get a seemingly veiled story about what Brian Wood truly thinks of a dual-party government. Then again I might be reading way far into it.
Whether it’s a story about the loser in all of us, or a dictum about the problems with our governmental duality… the story is great. As I can’t stress enough about this title is how realistic these characters. Flawed to a level that makes them real and tragic.
For each of these stories, Becky Cloonan has handled the art. Each issue looks a tiny bit different in both backgrounds and character designs. At the base of Cloonan’s style there is a very strong manga influence that has been getting more apparent as the issues have come out – but it doesn’t matter as it is her style that defines this book.
Her characters, even the most rotten of them, have this subtle innocence that is shown partially in the way she portrays young men and women and the rest is seen in their eyes. She uses this hybrid between Eastern & Western cartoon eyes that make them seem so thoughtful.
Demo has shocked time and time again with how realistic these characters are, even when they have superhuman strength, or ghosts coming out of their cassette players. The characters act like you or I would, and each story tells you a little bit more about the world Brian Wood lives in – it’s obvious this story is his personal soul.