Suspended Animation: Wake


Friday, May 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Wake/48 pgs., #9.95/sold in comics shops, at nbmpublishing.com, and in
bookstores.

A clutch of spaceships and alien mind readers search for planets to colonize, and find a jungle-infested one and a savage girl named Navee.

She was shipwrecked as a baby and orphaned, just like Tarzan.

Wake is the name of the alien convoy that threatens her world and titles this new adventure series from NBN publishing and Frenchmen Phillippe Bucket and Jean-David Morvan.

The art in this reprinted European title is magnificent. For the sake of brevity, everything is technically done right, and the artist's style is distinctive and dynamic. Especially impressive are his panoramic jungle
scene, and this artist can draw banks of gadgets and gaggles of robots as
easily as the banks of rivers and gaggles of geese. That degree of versatility is a rare talent.

The writing on Wake is no less impressive. For the sake of brevity, everything is technically done right, and the writer's style is distinctive
and dynamic. Especially impressive are plot twists that elevate this series
beyond "just another homage to Tarzan", characterization that ignores
stereotypes, and crisp, believable dialog. In the wake of such praise, is
there no weakness, no flaw in Wake?

Navee looks thirteen years old, and jumps and swings across these comics
pages naked except for a loincloth.

That is considered child pornography under American law and business as
usual in France. Therefore, a black strip was added across Navee's chest for the American edition. It may surprise readers who know this reviewer is
Christian that he suggests the strap is both silly--and welcomed.

This self-censorship is silly because Navee's nudity is no more salacious
than a photograph of a naked baby. It is meant to suggest her innocence.
That strap, however, is welcomed because all of her readers are not innocent and, necessary or not, does nothing to detract from the graphic novel.

Wake is highly recommended for truly mature readers who can discern between lust and artistic license.