book review: demon (vol. 1)

Jason Shiga’s Demon (vol. 1) is a comic about a guy who tries to kill himself but it doesn’t take. There’s a Groundhog Day aspect to the first chunk of the volume while he figures out what’s going on, and then it becomes a pretty funny and gross action book where he realizes that the reason it isn’t working makes him one of the most dangerous people alive.

It’s drawn in a similar style to his choosable-path time-travel comic Meanwhile (and uses the same protagonist) but as the introduction states it is decidedly not a kids’ book. Good stuff.

book review: bookhunter

Jason Shiga’s Bookhunter is awesome. It’s a 1970s action movie-style comic with a library detective investigating how a rare book got stolen. In the prologue our heroic detective blasts one of his own men with a shotgun (in the vest) so he can slide across the floor behind the guy who’s stealing books from the library in an effort to keep objectionable material out of circulation.

The main story is a police procedural whodunnit with some good reveals and nice action bits at the climax. I absolutely loved the forensic book-construction details bandied about. Jason Shiga obviously has done his research, and it made the whole thing feel like it was written for us librarians who wish we had all that rare-book knowledge.

book review: meanwhile

Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile is a choose your own adventure comic book with time travel, secret codes, mind-reading, the extinction of all life on the planet and ice cream. It is amazing. I have only played with the book a little bit but most of my attempts have ended up with everyone dead (my very first choice led to a ridiculously short story, but one in which everyone lived).

The very cool thing about it being a comic is following the line from panel to panel as it forks and crosses pages. I caught glimpses of really interesting endings, but there’s also a warning in the beginning of the book that there are endings you can only reach if you cheat. I haven’t played with it enough to really exhaust the endings, but everything I’ve done with it so far was awesome. Highly recommended.