Cosmic Times 2017
On Sale Sept. 2017
Written by Zach Bassett & Martin T Pierro
Based on a story by Zach Bassett
Illustrated by Jeramy Hobbs
This is an incredibly personal story about Jack as he has to come to grips with his life and finally come terms with everything that has happened and is happening in his life. There will be many people with whom this will not resonate and then there will be way more than will admit that it is profoundly like their own life. In case you are wondering I’m the latter.
So we open up with Jack at park bathroom where he is thinking and remembering the past. Starting with the fact that he’s been dumped by his girlfriend and she’s making it clear in no uncertain terms. This is where Jack’s story diverges into something much different than I think we were thinking it would go. You see there was someone at the park listening to the conversation Jack was having and moved in like a predator to take advantage of a teenage boy who was upset, hormonal and well he’s a teenager so horny.
Jack has to come to terms with what happened that day and where it lead him since. Coming to terms with one’s own sexuality is never easy and when you are gay it’s even harder because you want nothing more than to be seen as “normal.” So the encounter in that bathroom leads to something Jack could never have predicted and it’s one that’s as painful as anything one can go through.
Jack has to deal with this but he’s got two guides to help him along. One male and one female and they are kind of like the whole Angel/Devil on your shoulders kind of analogy to me. Never judging or saying what’s right or wrong just making you think and ask and say what the moments we see make him feel. Two sides of your consciousness if you will and to be fair they really do a marvelous job in guiding without interfering in how Jack reacts to that which he needs to. A strong person can do this like Jack does, alone, but more often than not it's too hard or difficult and the way this presented is so powerful to me.
This is a black and white book and it should be. The nature of the story should be seen in this manner. Jeramy does a very nice job making the everyday folks look, act and feel like your normal middle American family, one that we can all see and relate to. His use of page layouts, angles and perspective are commendable! There are some powerful moments visually that are seen in such ways that it’s unmistakable. Kudos for the work on this here.
The characterisation is superbly done. From the way Jack sees his parents to Brian, his new friend, and how what he’s been doing has changed his way of life. Not feeling like he has people to turn to, a man paying him attention and doing things to him physically and emotionally that cause him to mix up how he sees and feels. I mean when we’re young we do honestly have that whole sex=love kind of mentality that we outgrow, well most of us do. But add in how this happens to Jack and it’s something else entirely.
Zach tells a very personal story about Jack, a conglomeration of everyone who opened up and told him their stories. About realising they were gay, the first time they had sex and how sex was equated with love and even in the midst of abuse. His, Jack’s, decision to seek counselling and open up to his family and how love and respect, for oneself, comes into play is so important. To never feel like you are alone or what you’ve gone through or are going through is so bad you need to do something horribly drastic. This is one that you CANNOT miss.
Raw, powerful, stark and honest storytelling dealing with abuse, finding yourself and learning you are stronger than you think and that no one is ever truly alone.
Please order this book and have your friends order it, buy a slew of copies take them to schools with LGBTQ clubs and make sure they read this. We need to make the world a better place to grow up in, now more than ever. Decisions: The Faces of the Stranger is in the current (July) Preview catalog (page 329 and the Diamond order code is: JUL171649).