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Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection: 1987-1991by Scott McCloud
Synopses & Reviews
Long before manga took the American comics market by storm, Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, Making Comics) combined the best ideas from manga, alternative comics, and superheroes into Zot! — a frenetic and innovative exploration of comics' potential that helped set the stage for McCloud's later groundbreaking theoretical work.
Zachary T. Paleozogt lives in the far-flung future of 1965, a utopian Earth of world peace, robot butlers, and flying cars. Jenny Weaver lives in an imperfect world of disappointment and broken promises — the Earth we live in. Stepping across the portals to each other's worlds, Zot and Jenny's lives will never be the same again.
Now, for the first time since its original publication more than twenty years ago, every one of McCloud's pages from the black and white series has been collected in this must-have commemorative edition for aficionados to treasure and new fans to discover.
Includes never-before-seen artwork and extensive commentary by Scott McCloud.
Before Scott McCloud became the majordomo of American comics theory with "Understanding Comics" (1993), he wrote and drew the thoroughly charming series "Zot!," about the relationship between Zachary T. Paleozogt, a hyper-optimistic teenage superhero from a glorious parallel Earth where it's always a futuristic 1965, and a reserved, introspective girl from our own world. This collection compiles stories... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) originally published between 1987 and 1991 (earlier issues had appeared in color), in which McCloud's vision of the future is much shinier and more hopeful than, say, Chaykin's. There are flashes of terrible darkness here, but as McCloud explains, the villains in the first half of the book each represent a different grim future, and Zot's flair and cheer overcome them all. The focus of "Zot!" changes drastically in its concluding section, "The Earth Stories": McCloud shelves the sci-fi spectacle to examine the inner lives of the supporting characters as they struggle to understand themselves, their sexuality and their place in a world that might not live up to their teenage dreams — or, then again, might. The series' thoughtful joy spills over into its airy, bouncy design sense. McCloud had been paying close attention to the look and storytelling logic of the black-and-white comics coming out of Japan — in the '80s, that put him far ahead of the curve in the United States — and both his linework and the rushing flow of his storytelling took a lot of cues from manga. "The Eyes of Dekko," a sequence about a character whose robotic head is, appropriately, a look-alike for the top of the Chrysler Building, is essentially an allegory for the balance between representation and abstraction in visual art. Douglas Wolk is the author of "Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean." Reviewed by Douglas Wolk, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
(hide most of this review)
"With a smart-looking trim size and a sharp design that includes cover flaps and a stark-but-beautiful cover, Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection is an admirable addition to one's bookshelf." Greg McElhatton, Comic Book Resources
"[Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection] is full of little pure moments like that, skewering comic books by slavishly adhering to their logic, then using the corpse to build something fresh, deep, and most of all, fun. Honestly, comics just don't get any better than this." Gary Tyrrell, Fleen.com
"Zot! remains a unique storytelling experience....McCloud's essentially humanistic take runs counter to the hard-boiled cynicism so prevalent in mainstream comics of its day. His art beautifully mirrors this." Blog Critics Magazine
"These are vital comics works, as exciting as when they were first published, and this book should find thousands of eager readers across the country...I hope, particularly, that this makes it way into a lot of Young Adult collections, where it will be loved." Andrew Wheeler, ComicMix.com
The cult classic series Zot!, first created by McCloud in the mid-1980s, is back with an arresting collection of the entire black and white series (19871991) for veteran fans to enjoy once again and for new fans to discover.
About the Author
Scott McCloud has been writing, drawing, and examining comics since 1984. Winner of the Eisner and Harvey awards, his works have been translated into more than sixteen languages. Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) called him "just about the smartest guy in comics." He lives with his family in southern California. His online comics and inventions can be found at scottmccloud.com.
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