Every month dozens of new comics and graphic novels come out, and a lot of them are really good. But they all mostly look and feel the same: They might be tasteful or tasteless or serious or funny, but they’re all characters saying words in panels between covers. That’s one reason that Jeff Zwirek’s new book Burning Building Comix is so refreshing: It doesn’t look like anything else in the store, because Zwirek’s having fun with the format of a graphic novel even as he tells a familiar story. As seen above, the book opens into a representation of a 10-story apartment building; readers start on the ground floor and then read their way up the building even as the building itself burns down.
Of course, this would just seem gimmicky if Zwirek’s art and storytelling weren’t up to snuff. Luckily, his wordless panels are charmingly drawn, and his storytelling is intricate and fast-paced. The hidden relationships between the characters in each apartment—and in different apartments—are gradually revealed, as the fire unveils secrets that many of the residents would rather hide. It’s an incredibly fun book to look at and to read, and we’re very pleased that Jeff Zwirek is illustrating the July issue of the Slate Book Review.
Burning Building Comix by Jeff Zwirek. Self-published; distributed by Top Shelf.
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney
Or at least trade it for something.
- Texas Lab Worker on Cruise Tests Negative for Ebola as Dallas Hospital Apologizes
- Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent
- Racist Rancher Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder in Bizarre Campaign Ad
- Supreme Court Allows Texas Law That Accepts Handgun Permits but not College IDs to Vote
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.