Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are

Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are cover

The third Love and Capes collection reprints the five-issue Ever After miniseries and the 2010 Free Comic Book Day issue (aka #13), but that’s not the important thing. What’s important is that, in Wake Up Where You Are, Abby and Mark are now married. This book covers them starting their life together — after a world-spanning Hawaiian honeymoon.

You see, Mark is the Crusader, a superhero, and Abby knows his secret — and enjoys some of the perks, like having him take packages to France to avoid high postage fees. But now they’re facing new challenges with their family and friends.

Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are cover

Abby’s got to settle back into working her bookstore, ably managed by her sister Charlotte during her time away, although she couldn’t prevent the landlord raising the rent. Mark and Abby need to find a home together while Mark’s coping with finding out that his best friend, Darkblade, is dating his ex-girlfriend Amazonia. Then there are the little things, like figuring out how a superhero handles wearing a wedding ring or having dinner at Darkblade’s mansion.

Sometimes, it’s all about the quiet moment helping out your friends with relationship advice. Sometimes, it’s the comic-style plot, whether happy — a superhero gets regressed to the physical age of seven — or sad — the death of a teammate. Sometimes, it’s the family stuff (the “situation comedy” aspects) with the spouse’s parents coming to visit or the high school reunion. The blend is addictive, and author Thom Zahler does an excellent job switching them up and balancing the elements.

The art style is exaggerated, with Mark’s square head (cause he’s a traditional good guy, although not stuffy or boring) and Abby’s huge, expressive eyes, which makes it very readable. The eight-panel-per-page structure makes for two punchlines on each page, which keeps events moving quickly and puts emphasis on the entertaining moments.

I don’t know how to tell you how great this book is. I love this comic. It’s funny and touching and creative and meaningful. I want to spend more time with these characters and share their ups and downs and discoveries. I love the jokes that indicate that Zahler’s really thought about the details of the daily life of superheroing, but I love even more that the comic is really about how two people care for each other and build a life together. Still, the line about the Army Corps of Engineers had me laughing out loud and trying to tell KC what the joke was.

Love and Capes: Wake Up Where You Are can be ordered from your local comic shop with the code JUL11 0386. It’s due out in September. I suggest sharing it with your loved ones.


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