Zed: A Cosmic Tale Review
- Wonderful art work and styles on display
- Very adult story wrapped in a wonderfully child-like world
Not so much?
- Might not sit well with those expecting a lighter tale
- Some may not get the full value if they take it on first read only
The artwork is gorgeous at times and never falls below inventive at its lowest point. It’s a good solid read, that most will return to several times over. Some may, however, feel they get what they need from a single read and a that the compilation might be a little short in length. The entire book employs a sense of wonder, almost like a child’s view of the world that is occasionally broken by the reality of a cold hard universe. The use of greyscales and black & white just work perfectly.
Michel Gagne should be pleased and proud of the result of his eleven years of hard work and effort
Zed: A Cosmic Tale was a leap in to the unknown for me as a reader and a reviewer. Sure I like a cutesy cartoon or two and I appreciate an oddball sense of humour and things with a darker edge – but mostly I’ve stuck to reading things like The Walking Dead, The Watchmen, Batman Year One etc.
What Zed: A Cosmic Tale’s creator Michel Gagne offers here is a collection of his previous ten Zed comic books amalgamated and refined in to one handy compilation. As he mentions in the book itself over the 11 year period it took to complete the story the art style changed, including that of lead character Zed himself. What Michel has done is painstakingly go back and bring all previous entries in the series up to the same level as the later ones. This dedication and determination to not just put out a cash-in compilation is to be highly applauded.
Zed: A Cosmic Tale follows the exploits of the titular character Zed. A modest inventor of a wonderful environmentally friendly creation that he’s super proud to show off to the galaxy in the annual science show. Standing there in front of the massive crowds, billions of galactic races tuned in on the TV, Zed shows them all the invention he’s had running on his home planet for years. It takes literally seconds for the experiment to go horribly wrong. Zed stumbles into an experimental space craft (created by the now newly dead Macku) during the commotion and is whisked away as the entire planet is engulfed by the exploding experiment.
This small hiccup manages to also wipe-out the entire Hierarchy of the Galaxy. Zed is the most wanted life form in the entire galaxy and takes refuge on his home planet. Things go from bad to worse as Zed is plunged in to a galaxy wide battle to clear his name and save his home planet against insurmountable odds.
It takes Zed: A Cosmic Tale about three or four minutes at most to go from what looks like a cutesy kids cartoon strip to all hell breaking loose. And it’s then, 20 minutes later, you realise the book has hold of you until the bitter end and you’ve not moved an inch for the past 25 minutes.
Michel Gagne is brutal at times and pulls no punches with his depictions of horrific scenes as, for example, loved ones get torn apart by the planets blast. It’s such an odd juxtaposition that maybe it shouldn’t work… but it just does so well. Perhaps because the world, characters and scenery are a little cutesy you can go along in this often brutal ride with Zed. Many an adult theme is broached and dealt with using a unique art style and a large dollop of black humour and a very dark edge indeed.
Those familiar with Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet will have been exposed to Michel Gagne’s work previously. His art style is clean, with soft shading and uniquely inventive worlds. The dialogue for the most part is snappy and well paced with nothing extraneous in the mix to bog it down. Panels are cleanly set, dialogue is well inked offering an easy read that taxes the readers sensibilities rather than have them struggle with cluttered layouts. The art is one of the most compelling factors to this series – it’s surreal at times but just so well made!
Zed: A Cosmic Tale manages to do so much with it 280 pages. The book shifts from cutesy, to touching, to menacing to horrific scenes of extermination with such beautiful and effortless ease.
Zed: A Cosmic Tale is a great collection. Sequencing together as a whole to make a compelling tale of greed, regret and self-belief. Zed himself is a cute and loveable character visually on the page and a really compelling “leading man” when contextualised in the story.
The artwork is gorgeous at times and never falls below inventive at its lowest point. It’s a good solid read, that most will return to several times over. Some may, however, feel they get what they need from a single read and a that the compilation might be a little short in length.
The entire book employs a sense of wonder, almost like a child’s view of the world that is occasionally broken by the reality of a cold hard universe. The use of greyscales and black & white just work perfectly.
Michel Gagne should be pleased and proud of the result of his eleven years of hard work and effort. I can recommend Zed: A Cosmic Tale to pretty much any adult reader be they a comic book fan or not. Don’t let the cute snugly looking Zed on the front cover fool you in to thinking this is a book for kids or not a serious adult piece of fiction – it truly is! Read it, enjoy it, let Gagne know via ZEDcomics.com – you won’t regret a moment and you can thank me later.
Zed: A Cosmic Tale is available as of NOW from Amazon!