So, it’s been a long Monday, but I loves ya’ll so I figured I’d post some bloggy goodness for you (Side note, all my blogs are high on fiber and will help your “passage” so you can continue flinging the poo with The Loudest Monkey!):
I read the first two issues of Mark Millar’s upcoming 1985 this weekend (yep, that’s one of the perks of being a comic book journalist—occasional advanced PDFs of books) and my initial curiosity about the book named after a year not renowned for major events has now turned to excitement. I grabbed the book free of preconceptions, simply looking to pull back the shroud of mystery around the book I knew little to nothing about before reading. So, what did I learn? It’s about 1985! (Insert your *Gasp* here) Yes, the year! Check out the preview we ran for a little more of a tease.
No, seriously, check it out quick.
So, Red Skull in the window, Mole Man looking guy chatting up the neighbor; it looks a little crazy and the first two issues remain mysterious, leaving me to bask in the craziness for months until I get my hands on the third issue. Still, Tommy Lee Edwards’ art is just gorgeous and filled me with nostalgia for the time period while reading (Ok, I was only one year old in 1985, but you catch my drift) and the slow teasing out of this idea of comic book characters in the real world through the eyes of a tween is pretty interesting. In the end, that’s what really hammered this book home for me: little dude and main character Toby.
Millar always draws me in with his plots, but he’s never written a character I connected with more. I swear, it feels like he somehow tapped into my childhood and created this character partially from me. Toby seemed that familiar to read. He wasn’t entirely me, otherwise he’d have been more that goofy-looking, peachfuzz-faced and awkwardly tall kid with glasses, but the character rang true. He’s that kid who’s more interested in his comics than his life and he’s looking for his comics to enter his reality because it’d be way more interesting and an enjoyable reprieve from the same monotony relatable to nearly anyone who was ever 13-year-old comic reader. He’s an escapist, and every comic fan can relate to that and whether or not that Skull in the window is real or not, he’s sure something is up.
That was me at 12 or 13. I remember running around my mostly under-construction neighborhood back in suburban Atlanta, being sure that mystic forces were leaving TVs on inside these “For Sale” houses instead of lazy painters working on their final coat and that the “strange” influx of crows on my street had to be black magic and not the presence of trash-filled, construction dumpsters in every fourth driveway.
Reading 1985, I could really relate to Toby and, more than any amount of alien invasions or superpowered slugfests, that drew me into the series. I could step into the main character’s shoes in a way that, try as I might have, I just couldn’t with last week’s Kick-Ass. Now, that may simply have been due to the fact that Kick-Ass hero Dave Lizewski listens to the Goo Goo Dolls, or that my pudgy ass back when I was 13 would have been better suited to the semi-delusional, daydream tendencies of Toby than squeezing into a wetsuit underneath my clothes everyday (though I did look smashing in my swim team speedo—a dream of pale, undeveloped fleshiness). Either way, the gorgeous art and relatable character has me excited to see more of 1985 just to spend more time following the young hero’s adventures, and the continuing mystery behind the book is a bonus as well.