For those of you who don't know, is an Anthology-like book that just came out from Image yesterday. Every story is told using influence from a Tori Amos song, though I'm not exactly sure on the context of how. I don't know if it's a passing reference, or just using imagery from them or whatnot, but what I do know is that this compilation is some 400+ pages, weighs in at several pounds, is almost double the width of your normal comic, and is one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen in all my years of comic booking.
Cover by Jason Levesque
I honestly had no clue what to expect with this monstrosity. I didn't even pay attention to anything in the solicits for it besides that it was an anthology with some really solid talent listed like Jonathan Hickman, Christopher Mitten, Mike Dringenberg (of who I'll get back to in a second), Ryan Kelly, Colleen Doran, Pia Guerra, and with promises of raw, undiscovered ability to be showcased as well. The "theme" of the book was tertiary, I just enjoy seeing new talent, which is why I've been a fan of such books like the FLIGHT series or now the POPGUN collections. Yes, they're always a mixed bag, anthologies always are, but in my experience the good typically outweighs the not so good. There's something kind of beautiful about short bursts of pure talent like the stories in books like these, and the emotions they can harness in just a few scant pages. They themselves may tend to get lost in amongst each other and the weight of the book, but at the time they can hit quite hard, and leave just that bit of ephemeral feeling around your brain and the pages as you move on to the next story. It might not always work either, you might not get invested enough in the shortness of the tales, or some of them might just not hit you hard or gently enough depending in the time they have/use, but I always thought that was quite something to behold if and when it does work, and more often than not they do.
Really, what astounds me about this new influx into this section of the comics' world is the presentation. Now this, this is the kind of comic book you could commit a harsh police interrogation with. Sadly I haven't really had a chance to read it yet so I can't comment on that, but just from a quantity standpoint alone this has to be one of the greatest deals in comics. I don't know how or why this is only at the $30 price tag, but at the least I think they're a lot of explaining to do as to why I'll probably be reading this for a month at thirty bones, and yet my stack of single issues this week cost me half over that.
And yes, it does look gorgeous. As if that cover weren't enough, it gets even better inside. I mentioned Hickman and Kelly and Guerra, but there's a ten page... exhibition I guess you could say by an artist named Kako that is jaw dropping. One of the most stunning examples of comic book art I've seen in a long while. Andy MacDonald, Eric Canete, Dean Trippe, James Stokoe, and lets not forget David Mack. Those are some talented people, and the rest of the book holds its own on the whole. The Jonathan Hickman piece alone might have inspired a new tattoo for me, which, speaking of, this is called COMIC BOOK TATTOO after all, I'd be remiss if I didn't show off my little contribution to that term:
And now you all know just how big a geek I really am. But when I'm presented with something like CBT, how can I not be? It's stuff like this that really makes me love comics, no matter where they come from. If only people were a little bit more passionate about them besides as means of escapism, imagine what we could accomplish, or where the industry might go. It's fun to think about at the least.