GRAPHIC NOVELS
McCay
Jean-Philippe Bramanti (illus.). Statix: Titan. 2018. 244p. ISBN 9781785868856. $49.99. Rated: T+. SF/FANTASY
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As a young art student in Detroit, Winsor McCay befriends first an angry anarchist and later British mathematician Charles Hinton. Hinton's bizarre theories about the fourth dimension, and how a human being might access this mysterious plane, influence and inspire McCay, setting him on the path to creating Little Nemo in Slumberland and becoming one of the most celebrated cartoonists of all time. Two decades later, Hinton and McCay meet again shortly before the mathematician is struck dead, and McCay is thrust into an adventure filled with twists, turns, and supernatural treachery. Smolderen (Atomic Empire) mixes McCay's actual biography with political events and the lives of famous contemporaries such as Harry Houdini and William Randolph Hearst. Illustrator Bramanti proves himself capable of seamlessly switching from stark noir to trippy surrealism from panel to panel, rendering the tale beautifully.
VERDICT Fans looking for a straightforward biography of McCay might find themselves thrown by the far-out concepts that appear halfway through the book, but everyone else will enjoy this deeply strange, incredibly fun sf/fantasy noir with artwork that pales only to that of McCay himself.

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