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This week’s read is brought to us by one of the art instructors I work with on fairly regular occasion. We were discussing the different graphic novels we’d each read of late and Nowhere Men by Image Comics came up in the conversation. He didn’t particularly like it and I expressed sadness as it had been on my suggested list on Amazon.com. I’d been looking forward to picking it up once I got through some of my current “To Read” stack. He then offered to bring it in the following day for me to have. Now, he has let me borrow books before but never just given me one, so that gave me an inkling of just how little he cared for it. He was true to his word and I had the book the next day.

The book begins with four genius scientists who are likened to the Beatles, which, as a Beatles fan, I rather enjoyed, and a catch phrase at the bottom of the very first page that is used regularly throughout the rest of the volume, “Science is the new rock ‘n’ roll.” Sadly, there wasn’t quite as much actual science as I would have liked.

Eric Stephenson’s story is somewhat disjointed and jumps back and forth between several different plot lines, which wouldn’t have been so bad in and of itself except for the fake ads, and magazine articles, and book excerpts that you’re assaulted with every few pages. While I think they were meant to provide background for the characters and immerse you in the world, they really only served to derail the story. I found I would have to go back a few pages and reread things I had just read because a two or three page “article” had completely interrupted the flow. Nate Bellegarde’s art compliments the story, and thankfully doesn’t distract any further from it. It isn’t over the top amazing, but it does its job, it illustrates what’s happening without being convoluted or confusing and making you stop and stare at a single frame for 10 minutes while trying to figure out what exactly is happening.

The idea of the work was sound, just somewhat poorly executed, and apart from the flow issues I still enjoyed the book. There’s a virus of sorts that infects nearly the entire cast of characters with interesting and at times devastating results, space stations, teleportation, telepathy, snow, and desert heat, EXPLOSIONS, and super top secret stuff that’s kept from the general population. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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