‘Liquid City Volume 3:’ Anthology Review

Reviewing an anthology is perhaps the most difficult task a reviewer can face, because different creators touch readers in different ways. The job becomes even more complex when facing a comic anthology, where the changes in art style and tone sometimes prevent a seamless read from story to story; however, I cannot deny the creativity and skill of each individual who contributed to Liquid City Volume 3, and Sonny Liew and Joyce Sim’s editorial work to combine unique pieces that both fit the theme (What would you do if you knew there was only one month, week, or day of life as you know it on this Earth?) and showcased some of the best Southeast Asian creators is stellar.

Trying to put each piece of Liquid City Volume 3 into the same box is nearly impossible for me; even with a basic theme, each tale possesses a distinct flavor. The subject matter ranges from local myths and beliefs to fables to family or personal histories to humorously grotesque sci-fi, and the tones are bittersweet, nostalgic, funny, dark, irreverent, etc. My favorite story in the anthology is probably "Light" by Dominique Fam. The flimsy reason for my instant attachment to the story is that I love both candles and light houses, both of which play a role in the story; however, I felt the most uplifted after reading "Light" in comparison to some of the darker stories in the anthology. It encapsulated hope for me on a visual and gentle storytelling level. I also responded strongly to Tita Larasati’s "Bloemen Blij, Plukken Wij" since it reminded me of my own relationship with my grandmother as a little girl. My family also had a few secrets surrounding my grandma (Her mother may have been adopted.), and in respect to her feelings on the matter, we didn’t delve too deeply before her death.

The artwork throughout Liquid City Volume 3 is as varied as the stories, and I greatly enjoyed seeing each creator’s style. I particularly liked the cover and the water color looking, realistic city scenes at the beginning and end of the book. The cityscapes felt like I could step through my computer screen into a piece of Southeast Asia, and the cover made me think of a fantastical version of Hindu mythology.

Overall, Liquid City Volume 3 is a wonderful sampling of stories and creators that many Western readers probably have never seen. In a time when diversity in comics has hit the forefront of American comic consciousness, this is a powerful reminder that there are non-white, non-Western creators. They simply do not have as great a voice in US comic culture. Give Liquid City Volume 3 a try. You may not love it as much as I did, but you will definitely be transformed as a reader.


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Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2018 19:28

Jodi Scaife, Fanbase Press Social Media Strategist

Mid-30s geek type with a houseful of pets, books, DVDs, CDs, and manga

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