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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘The Nightly News’ a triumph

    The Nightly News a triumph

    Like Bacitracin on a wound, this comic burns. With “”The Nightly News”” Jonathan Hickman has created a graphic novel that reinvents storytelling style and carves its own genre. Like “”Blade Runner”” or “”The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,”” the impact of Hickman’s creation will be felt for decades to come.

    When the foreword of a graphic novel asks, “”Is this guy fucking crazy?”” you know you’re in for something special. “”The Nightly News”” follows a group of people whose lives are ruined by the media system and their ensuing hunt for revenge. Joining the cult-like group, called the First Church of the Brotherhood of the Voice, these people set in motion a violent plan to change the anatomy of the American press through any means possible.

    The storyline is intersected by flashbacks, detailing the cult’s formation and the brutal way they carry out their attacks. The plot echoes of Chuck Palahniuk’s “”Fight Club,”” without detouring into homosexual subtext. However dark and disturbing “”The Nightly News”” is, the book is not a violent manifesto; Hickman constantly questions both sides of the issue and, at points, even himself.

    It’s hard not to detail “”News”” without giving away too much of the story, and in this respect the book offers no neatly packed premise on the back cover. Readers are expected to open and read.

    “”The Nightly News””
    Jonathan Hickman
    Image Comics
    List Price $16.99
    5 stars!!!

    The plot and the accompanying art are both Hickman’s products. This being his first solo creation, “”News”” suggests the beginning of something big. Hickman’s sense of style grabs you right away, but his incorporation of the story’s graphic design is what has the real impact on the reader – the impact of an unassuming pigeon flying into the path of a 747.

    “”News”” is littered with info-graphics, side comments and footnotes, making it probably one of the most dense graphic novels ever written. Hickman incorporates these facets into the design in a way that allows readers to choose if they want to only engage the story or read deeper into the issues mentioned. There’s so much here that when you finish, you’ll flip right back to the first page and start reading it again.

    With American fiction stuck in the tedium of mediocre bilge, this comic offers an alternative you can shove in the face of your book-savvy friends. But “”The Nightly News”” is only a comic in form and is nothing like the Herculean superheroes or tired noir thrillers that saturate the trade. Here Hickman has not only reinvented the wheel, he’s lit it on fire and sent it rolling downhill past an industry still stuck in the Stone Age.

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