This beautiful color anthology sums up its theme in its title, Flight.
Most of these young cartoonists began doing comics online. As a result, readers may not be familiar with their names, but they will be impressed by their talents. A flip through the book reveals a wide variety of approaches, topics, and styles. Especially notable is the use of color, with subtle effects and impressive skill on display.
The first story, by Enrico Casarosa, takes the title literally, ending with a lovely two-page image of a seaplane taking off. Some have characters building flying machines or taking airplanes around the world or engaging in blimp piracy. Others aren’t so literal, involving flights of imagination.
Vera Brosgol’s “I Wish…”, about a teenage girl who grows wings, is a favorite. The dialogue between her and her friend is expressively realistic. Derek Kirk Kim provides a modern twist on a fable with “The Maiden and the River Spirit”.
Phil Craven’s “Deep Blue” is a charming story of a penguin overwhelmed by crowds of his species. Seeking release, his creative solution inspirationally blends diving and flying. “The Bowl”, by Clio Chiang, graphically and wordlessly illustrates how an epitaph is a poor substitute for all the events of a long, rich life.
Jen Wang’s “Paper & String” covers kite-flying in a range of diverse art styles, including paper collage and found images of yearbook pages and newspapers. Its theme of escape through artistic creation makes it the highlight of the book.
This is a volume to savor, where the art is a visual feast to enjoy. There’s already a second collection, with more planned to follow.