Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trade Waiting - Seaguy

Today I'm taking a look at one of my favorite Grant Morrison series, Seaguy. The first mini, which is part of a trilogy, is one of Morrison's more unique and outlandish works. Now, that might scare some people off but don't worry, Seaguy may be strange and odd but it is completely accessible to anyone with an open mind. Oh, and the second mini begins tomorrow when Seaguy: The Slaves of Micky Eye #1 comes out. You should buy it. Hit the jump for my review of the first trade.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart
Collects Seaguy #1-3

Seaguy is about, well, Seaguy, a wide-eyed, optimistic yet naive not quite superhero in a world without a need or want for heroes. He has no super powers, utility belts, magic rings or even a true hideout, but what he does have is what counts the most - the heart of true hero.

The mini is your basic journey/adventure where Seaguy goes around the world, and even to the moon, in order to prove that he is a hero. Along the way, he is accompanied by his best pal, Chubby Da Choona, a floating tuna fish with a sailor's cap and cigar. As said before, the story is basic and Morrison isn't trying to do anything new with it but rather just has some fun with it. There is a lot of amusing and out there ideas that are found throughout the book as well as plenty of small touches that bring it all together.

Now, although I've said that Seaguy is a "fun" book, and it is, it is also one of the more depressing books I've read from Morrison. Throughout the book, and it is more towards the end than the beginning, there is a sense that not everything is right in the world Seaguy inhabits. Morrison starts out slowly with it, like children crying at the Mickey Eye amusement park, and, by the end, Seaguy is thwarted in his efforts and is brainwashed to forget his adventure. It also contains one of the most effective and well written death scenes I have ever read in comics.

The characters in Seaguy are pretty basic, but thoroughly enjoyable. Seaguy is exactly as described above. Chubby is pretty amusing and plays comedic relief throughout most of the story, but he is also Seaguy's best friend and plays the role perfectly. He also has a couple of non-comedic moments that really highlights how important he is to Seaguy. A lot of the supporting characters are exaggerated one-notes, but that is a necessity due to the shortness and brisk pace of the story. Micky Eye, a cartoon character, is also a background force in the story and plays a larger role in it than his earlier appearances would suggest.

As for the art, it is magnificent and Cameron Stewart's work is a perfect fit for the book. It has a cartoonish vibe to it which helps to highlight the absurd nature of Seaguy's world. There is a wide variety of stuff he has to draw as well, but he handles it with ease and some of the character designs are just wonderful. He also handles tone and emotions of the story fantastically, from lighthearted and joyful to the dour and serious to everything in between.

Verdict - Must Read. Although Grant Morrison's Seaguy may seem like a simple book at first, it is a stunning and emotional tale about one man's attempts to be a hero in a world that desperately needs one.

Like this review? Interested in this book? Purchase Seaguy from Amazon.com and help support The Weekly Crisis.

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