Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Fracture of the Universal Boy

So what is The Fracture of the Universal Boy? Well it's a new gorgeously drawn over-sized graphic novel by Michael Zulli, that has some of the best lettering I've seen outside of Todd Klein, has a title that suggests a big story, and production values that most graphic novels would be highly jealous of. What is lacking from Zulli's The Fracture of the Universal Boy is anything resembling a coherent story, unless you like narratives that resemble dreams in "structure". I think a story can be interesting even if it has a a dreamlike structure, but with Universal Boy, it seemed to me that there were several good ideas that were struggling to actually become well developed, but even though this clocks in at almost 200 pages, never really amounts to anything.

I don't normally feature negative reviews here on Ich Liebe Comics! because there really is a lot of comics and graphic novels I could comment upon in the positive column and "one person's trash is another person's treasure" (as horribly
neutral as that adage can be, it's also true), but with The Fracture of the Universal Boy, I had such high expectations and the art really is that beautiful. Anyone who has seen Michael Zulli's Sandman arc, The Wake, and his Puma Blues, knows what I'm talking about. Maybe he shouldn't be writing (sorry that sounds so harsh), actually Michel Zulli pretty much says the same thing in his afterward of this book that he had worked on for six years. Seriously though, if you just want to see some lush sequential art that evokes Barry Windsor Smith at his artistic height, then you need look no further than Michael Zulli's The Fracture of the Universal Boy.

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