If you’re a lover of stories then chances are you love anthologies; they allow us to pop into multiple worlds, sometimes in the span of pages that Amazing Spider-Man might squander on a fight sequence. Anthologies force creators to push the format and tell a story in a completely different way — that’s exciting.
With Amazing Forest #1, we are given another anthology to chew on. But is it good?
Amazing Forest #1 (IDW Publishing)
Ulises Farinas is familiar with anthologies with his artist work on Catalyst Comix and here he’s taking over the writing duties. This issue contains 4 stories that involve werewolves, a bird watcher, and a disease that has a surprising cure.
Why does this book matter?
The anthology format allows you to switch to a vastly different story after finishing one; you can decide which one you like best (maybe it’s all of them), yet all of them are done in a way that will make you differently than you did when you went in. The stories aren’t the only thing that change in Amazing Forest, as the artist changes right along with them. Each artist in this volume is strikingly different from the last and that allows you to get many different moods and styles for one price.
The stories within.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first story called “Plant” is written by Farinas and Erick Freitas and is about four survivors of an alien plague. The aliens are called slimes as they turn you into slime and get you by shaping into your loved ones. The survivors are getting cabin fever even with the daily destruction of the slime that’s caked around their tank. This story is all about the twist and it’s a clever turn that should surprise everybody. The art by Julien Dufour is quite nice and a style that’s reminiscent of Harvey Crumb.
The second story entitled “Wolf Mother” with art by Matt Rota is the werewolf story and one I wasn’t quite as sold on as the others. The art however is gorgeous, especially the environments. Check this out if you like visceral sort of stories.
The third story is called “Ronnie the Robot” with art by Melody Often. This story has an edge to it — it’s about a father who’s been gone for too long and comes back inside a robot suit. He refuses to come out and when he finally does it’s bone-chilling to behold.
The final story is called “Bird Watcher” and it’s wonderfully weird. The art is by Yumi Sakugawa and it uses color as a highlight with more white than not. The story is about growing old, loving those who love you back and knowing when your obsession isn’t worth obsessing over. It’s heartfelt and genuine.
It can’t be perfect can it?
“Wolf Mother” isn’t the best of stories and is too dreamlike for its own good. There isn’t much there to stabilize it and the protagonist isn’t strong enough to carry the story.
Is It Good?
Three great stories and one that’s gorgeous but lacks in story is a win for me. Chances are the odds are good you’ll find something here you’ll love.