The Unwritten 18 (December 2010)

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No way, Carey answers some questions. Without raising new ones. Well, okay, I guess he sort of hints at some new ones—we get to see the council of evil anti-readers for the first time. They look like Fox News personalities, but they’re meeting in a cave and have secret evil rituals. Okay, I guess I’m not sure it’s unlike Fox News internal business practices.

But the real questions answered have more to do with Tom. Carey positions him to take the active role in the book—which is only fair, since it’s his book and all… though it signals a big change for how the series usually plays out. It’s a welcome turn of events, one Carey introduces as a sort of surprise. More accurately, he sets it up to go anywhere and where he takes it still manages to surprise.

It’s a fantastic, refreshing issue; just great.

CREDITS

Mix; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

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Homeland: The Illustrated History of the State of Israel, 2nd ed. (2008)

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My history B.A. informs my first observation about Homeland—writer Marv Wolfman identifies a disputed point in the history of the formation of Israel as a state—and I appreciated it. Wolfman takes the rockier road.

A lot of Homeland does take the rockier road, working very hard to be not to be jingoistic. The knocks one can think of against Israeli personalities are here—Sharon, for instance, and the Phalangist Massacre. In fact, if the book is biased, it’s not against Israelis or Muslims—it’s against American Christians. Wolfman gets in a hilarious bit where a self-identified American Christian thinks torture is totally un-Christian. It’s an inappropriate laugh, but a fine observation. There’s another point about the regular annual taxes Israelis pay. It’s hard not to roll one’s eyes at the American complaints.

The book is separated into three parts, tied with a narrative about a university class studying Israel, its history and its culture. The first part is through the formation of the state itself in 1948; the second generally covers culture, and the history from 1948 on; the third is a summary of other relevant topics. As a history text, Homeland’s very strong. It’s actually dense enough it could use a study guide, especially during the pre-1900 material.

Mario Ruiz’s combination of art and graphic design is effective. The overall transfer of information is important and Ruiz facilitates it.

Homeland is educational reading… but the package is so compelling, it also serves recreational purposes.

CREDITS

Writer, Marv Wolfman; artist, Mario Ruiz; editor, William J. Rubin; publisher, Nachshon Press.

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