Saturday, September 10, 2016

Night Air

One of the most surprising things about Night Air is that it is an all ages book. It certainly did not feel like one to me as I read it, because it is fun, smart, and full of excellent things, and I wish more comics were like it. The plot revolves around a "boy and his robot." Its protagonist is Plus Man, a goggle-wearing guy who is pretty single-minded and borderline unlikable. He just wants to get rich and have fun and look cool in the process. He is accompanied by a robot with great capabilities who looks out for him and saves his hide on more than one occasion.

Plus Man starts the book by getting into some trouble cheating at the poker table and by the end he ends up searching for valuable minerals in a haunted house. In between are all kinds of chases, scrapes, and traps that he must avoid. Despite his actions, I found myself still rooting for Plus Man, because he is a scalawag. I  enjoyed his adventures, laughed more than once at the jokes, and marveled at the gorgeously rendered artwork in this book. It contains pretty much everything a great comic should have.

This book's creator Ben Sears has published various works in zines, mini-comics, a few anthologies, and the back-up of an issue of Adventure Time. The characters in this book originally appeared in a webcomic called Double +. He speaks about his work on Night Air in this interview.

All of the reviews I have read about this book have been full of praise. Oliver Sava remarked about how Sears' work is marked by "bold designs, immersive compositions, and atmospheric colors." John Seven called it "a good effort from Koyama for kid-oriented comics, providing thrills and laughs, but not at the expense of clever and intelligent work." RJ Casey concluded that these are some "fun comics with no icky strings attached."

Night Air was published by Koyama Press, and they have a preview and more available here.

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