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36. Flight (Volume One) by Kazu Kibuishi (2004) 208 p.

swashbuckling across the fantastic panorama of my childhood imagination

I read Flight Volume Two earlier this year, but declined to include it because I didn’t consider a comic anthology to be a book. Since I’ve subsequently deemed Watchmen worthy of inclusion, I may as well slide a little further and admit Flight. BREAKING ALL THE RULES, BABY!

I was originally attracted to the Flight comics partly because they’re edited by Kazu Kibuishi, renowned for his amazing Copper webcomics, and partly because they have the most staggeringly beautiful covers. Check out this wallpaper version of Volume Four:

my god... the whales are... FLYING!

I would do hideous, depraved things in exchange for a hypothetical (but thick) graphic novel chronicling the beautifully drawn adventures of the lucky bastard riding the bird on all the Flight covers.

What I get instead is an anthology of very short comics, some of which are good and some of which aren’t. There are two Copper stories included in Volume One, Maiden Voyage and Picnic, and Khang Le (who has some excellent paintings of fantasy and sci-fi scenes on his website) has a nice story in there as well. The rest are mostly okay but nothing special, ranging from wacky detective mysteries to typical plotless, epiphany-driven narratives. They all share a common theme of flight, whether literal or metaphorical, and a lot of them do a good job of capturing the nostalgic childhood spirit of adventure. On the whole, though, Flight is mostly about style over substance, with a lot of very pretty but ultimately pointless stories.

Those covers sure do kick ass, though.

Books: 36/50
Pages: 11, 113

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