Change is an odd bird, and by no means a simple book. Reading it gave me flashbacks to the kind of stuff I read a lot of as an English major, stuff that I knew as I was going through it that I didn’t quite get. But, Change is enjoyable enough even if you don’t quite get it yet. There are plot and character up front, so that the visual non sequitirs don’t derail the uninitiated.
The story switches between three unlikely heroes who, we’re told, are the only ones who can save the world. Wallace is a rapper who isn’t quite satisfied with his successful career. Sofia is a screenwriter, belligerent, and a bit macabre. And then, there’s the cosmonaut, on his way back to Earth from the first manned mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. That’s the one we were told to stay away from in 2010: The Year We Make Contact, in case anyone’s keeping score. There are secrets that these characters aren’t privy to.
The time period, then, seems to be somewhat near-future. Most things in the book could easily be now, but occasionally something crops up – like the mission to Europa or Sofia’s shifting facial camo – that suggest we’re not quite there yet. I suppose that makes Change science fiction, of a sort, though it overall smacks a little more of dark fantasy.
The art will take some getting used to for some people. Figures are sometimes oddly distorted, occasionally appearing boneless. The “camera” is often placed in peculiar positions, like next to a hand on a desk looking up at the owner, granting odd perspectives. And, there’s the visual non sequitirs I mentioned, a panel showing a monkey’s face in the middle of a conversation not about or involving a monkey, for instance. These all seem like deliberate choices; I’m just not sure I know why they were made, in all cases. Change has that sort of art house gravitas, which is a double-edged sword, depending on the reader.
Change is an interesting and trippy little mini, and there are definitely elements in this first issue that I really want to see play out. How do these plots intertwine? Who were those hooded men? And, so on. Bu,t Change is not for everyone, and I suspect – just a guess – it’ll work a little better once all four issues are collected.