Mike Barry Was Here 2018
By Mike Barry
A boy finds himself on the other side of the Solar System and must rely on his brains, his courage and the advice of a mysterious talking unicorn guy if he wants to get home in time for his Mom's spaghetti carbonara. He does. It's his favourite.
This is a rather unique book. It isn't like anything else you are going to see and the way it's set up and told almost has more of this children's picture book feel to it. Heck even a Shel Silverstein with the words and pictures taking up this finite space and leaving quite a bit empty at the same time. There is also something else about this that has you asking questions that we really don't get the answers to and in that I really kind of am fascinated by this. This is something that you may take a look at and no this isn't for me, I'll pass. Then you'd definitely be making a mistake because this again is one of those rare all-ages offerings that is incredibly perfect for everyone in the house. Or if you are single, then count nieces and nephews for when you babysit.
If I am going to be completely honest it took me a few tries to get into this. I was in the wrong mindset and when I let go of all that and just sat down to finally read this it was really a glorious thing. The way that this is being told is incredibly well done. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented beautifully. They say if something is so simple that usually means it's the hardest thing to do. So to see this and think it's so simple and knowing how difficult it is to make it appear that way well yeah I'm two tons of impressed. The character development is phenomenal and you have to see this boy on his journey to fully comprehend just how much so. The pacing is sublime and as it takes us through the pages we see how all this works together to create the books ebb & flow.
I think this is a gem of a find and it's something that I hadn't expected to be as just gosh darned good as it is. I know you folks have to be tired of me saying this but you need to check out artist alley at conventions and support some kickstarters because you aren't going to find books like this any other way, okay reviewers aside. You can pick this up here. https://actiontankcomic.com/about-the-book/
The interiors here are beautifully rendered. The linework is great and how we see the varying weights being utilised to bring us the attention to detail really is marvellous. The creativity and imagination that we see on display here is beyond what I could have hoped for and it is such a breath of fresh air in the sea of normalcy that surrounds us. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show us this talented eye for storytelling. The colour work too is incredibly inventive and pretty. The way that we see the various hues and tones within the colours utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is really exceptionally well done.
Is this a young boys imagination at work or is this something more? That is the million dollar question right there and it will be up to you and you alone to really answer that. Each and every one of you will experience something very much unique to yourself when reading this and yet we'll all come away with the same feelings and emotions as well. The power of storytelling that we see here is amazing and how something can be so simple and straightforward and yet so complex can be so damn enjoyable.