'Breakers' Review: Finding Creative Purity and Freedom through Comics

 

BreakersBreakers is in no way your typical graphic novel. Composed of short comics, sketches, doodles, and experiments in sequential art, Breakers has no overarching story or structure. Instead, it is the culmination of a three-week residency conducted by twenty-six comic creators at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, which is located on the Florida coast. Led on a once-in-a-lifetime artistic experience by master artists Ellen Forney, Dean Haspiel, and Megan Kelso, these twenty-three associate artists and their “creative commanders” deliver a volume of collected works in Breakers that reads as an unfiltered, honest, and intimate peek into a truly magical and inspired three weeks in an environment teeming with artistic expression, daily comic creation, occasional shark sightings, and one seriously creepy, naked old dude.


Sitting down and reading Breakers for the first time is akin to looking through a close friend's sketch book who has just returned from a three-week vacation at the beach. I’m not sure if those reading this review will have any experience with this sort of thing, but flipping through an artist's sketchbook is 50% stealing a peek inside their personal journal and 50% being invited to see the world through their eyes. Much like perusing a sketch book (or paging through a friend’s yearbook, for the non-artists in the room), Breakers brings up the feeling that you’re stepping into the very imagination of the artist and writers while at the same time feeling like you’ve intruded upon an established relationship full of in-jokes that you can only chuckle at and wish you knew the full story behind them. It’s a very unique, yet cozy, and heartfelt experience.

The stories and artwork in between the pages of Breakers are extremely varied in both subject and emotional tone, focusing on such topics as an excursion to a nude beach, the bonds of friendship and teambuilding, reactions to the 2012 U.S. presidential election, a parody of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the true definition of an artistic professional, and much, much more. Some of the pieces are light and joy-filled, others are poignant and inspiring. Some are frivolous and good for a laugh, while others will stay with you long after you finish reading and may even produce some tears. No matter what the feel of the current page the reader is taking in, what is consistent throughout Breakers is the sense of real-life authenticity that is clearly at the root of each piece. The individual comics may be as diverse as the creators themselves, but they work together as a cohesive experience that will surely speak to comic creators, comic enthusiasts, and even comic newbies. This is not a project put together to merely placate fanboys, reinvent an exhausted character or license, or especially not to seek financial gain the way so many mainstream books seem to be striving for these days. Breakers is completely and sincerely about the creative, artistic, and communal process that exists at the root of every comic book (and, equally, in every artistic endeavor) out there.

I will wrap up this review with my favorite piece of text from Breakers. I hope that it inspires FBC readers to not only seek out this enlightening and entertaining volume, but to tap their own creative juices the same way it inspired me.

People are always surprised when I call myself a professional artist. When you say that you’re a professional anything, people seem to expect that you are at least somewhat successful and that you make money. As we live in a culture that is, more often than not, unable to see past its preconceived notions of things . . . People fail to understand that success is not measured by money, but by impact. A true professional, in my mind, is concerned with the power to change the world through inspiration. At the end of the day, money and bones turn to dust. Our actions, however small, will reverberate through time.

I take comfort in that.

- George Folz


For more information about Breakers and a free preview of the book, be sure to check out the official So What? Press website. You can also find So What? Press on Facebook.

'Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer
@ComicBookSlayer

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 24 December 2018 18:40

Bryant Dillon, Fanbase Press President
Favorite Comic BookPreacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Favorite TV ShowBuffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite BookThe Beach by Alex Garland
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