I’d seen the issues of Forgetless at my LCS a time or two, and it subtly aroused my interest. The cover art is lovely. Ultimately, I passed on purchasing it until I experienced Marley Zarcone’s art in Madame Xanadu #24. That sealed the deal for me and Forgetless. I had to have more Marley, who is one of the three very talented Forgetless artists. Jorge Coelho, W. Scott Forbes, and Marley Zarcone combine to create a wicked aesthetic I’d not seen before.
There is nothing typical about this book, except for the hipsters. Wait. Don’t stop reading just because I said “hipsters.” Nick Spencer of recent Morning Glories fame writes a provocative and relevant story that just so happens to boast the debauched youth culture of New York City. I am the first one to loathe a ranty teenager, especially a bratty, hipster teenager. But between Morning Glories and Forgetless, Spencer has cornered the market on writing teenagers well. He totally pulls it off without grinding my nerves. He even goes as far as to make them interesting characters, or at the very least, a representation of something interesting.
The reason I love Forgetless is that it does what I think comics are supposed to do: act as a social commentary. Models aspire to appear on the cover of Vogue and work as killers for hire on the side, all whilst tweeting vagaries of said hit jobs. You see that perception is everything, and apathy rules the day in the world of social networking. Meanwhile, all three South Jersey teens can think of is getting to the party of the year in NYC. It’s the only thing that matters. And one young man gets hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube by … fucking a building. The Empire State Building, to be exact. It’s an ode to the idiocy and freedom of being a teenager and a poignant example of the Age of Celebrity, as it explicitly illustrates the narcissism consuming our youth culture. I love nuanced social commentary. It makes my brain happy.
Be warned; this book is not for the faint of heart. Gratuitous F-bombs, Pulp Fiction-style pacing, and NC-17 antics from people not yet 17 years old may not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you revel in cynicism, laugh at dark humor, live for references, and cuss like sailor, then this book is for you (and we should be friends).
Excellent writing, beautiful art, and something different. The trade comes out in October.
Want more suggestions? Check out the lesser-known titles reviewed on these blogs and Read Them, Too:
Adam Strange at It’s a Dan’s World
American Vampire at Doom Patrol
Astro City at K-Squared Ramblings
Booster Gold and Zatanna at Red Tornado’s Path
Essential Man-Thing at Firestorm Fan
Franklin Richards Digests at Once Upon a Geek
Glamourpuss at Being Carter Hall
Peter David’s Hulk at Fortress of Baileytude
Jonah Hex at Boosterrific
R.E.B.E.L.S. at Indigo Tribe
Scott Pilgrim at Toyriffic
Son of Tomahawk and Thor the Mighty Avenger at Aquaman Shrine
Spelljammer at HeroPress
Spire Christian Comics at Mail it to Team-Up
Strange Science Fantasy at Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery
The Unwritten at Speed Force