Thursday, February 11, 2010

Read it: Joe the Barbarian

Joe the Barbarian is an odd sort of comic in that the vast majority of the story is told with pictures alone.

"But Echo," I hear you say in your thick, Russian accent. "Isn't that sort of the point of comics? To tell a story with pictures?"

Well, yeah, but when you have five sequential pages with not one scrap of text, it tends to throw the average reader off guard.

So, JtB has very little talking. That turns out to be absolutely perfect for this book about a boy with no friends, an overactive imagination and a single mother who has little time for him.

The lack of dialogue, coupled with some beautiful, darkly colorful art (if that even makes sense) helps draw you into this oppressively vast, lonely world where Joe's only friends are those that live in his head and line his toy shelves.

I can't imagine how hard it has to be to tell a story well with so little chatter, so writer Grant Morrison's script is to be commended. Sean Murphy's art, too, is awe inspiring in both his renditions of gloomy suburbia and those quick glances of the other world Joe will likely be spending a great deal of time in during the book's eight issue run.

As an added bonus, issue one is just a buck. Even at full price, though, I'd tell you this title is definitely worth a look.

(Don't forget to click on the pictures for a better look at the comic.)

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