A Great New Comic About Lewis and Clark and the Plant Zombies

Reading between the lines.
Jan. 7 2014 10:50 AM

Lewis and Clark and the Buffalo-Men

A new comics series about the horrible monsters of the American wilderness.

140107_SBR_MANIFEST_Comic

Courtesy of Image Comics

It’s 1804 on the American frontier. Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark lead an expedition to explore the west and map a route to the sea. The explorers have assembled a crew of hard men from the new American states to join them on their journey. But the men under their command do not know the secret orders Lewis and Clark have received: To clear the territories west of the Mississippi of the mysterious, primeval monsters that roam the wilderness.

manifest destiny.

In just three issues, Chris Dingess’ comic book series Manifest Destiny has distinguished itself with a fanciful take on history and an awestruck view of the power of the old American wild. The buffalo-men and plant zombies (and who knows what other creatures) running rampant across the Louisiana Territory make for great comic-book villains, but they’re also potent stand-ins for the fecund western wilderness itself, which in our world has been relentlessly subdued since that 1804 journey of discovery. (Not to mention for the native peoples exterminated throughout the 19th century.) In the world of Manifest Destiny, though, the taming of the West is no sure thing.

Much of the power in Manifest Destiny comes from Matthew Roberts’ vivid illustrations, which mix classic comics character design with vivid visions of the monsters of the American imagination. We’re very pleased to have Roberts illustrating the January issue of the Slate Book Review.

Advertisement

---

Manifest Destiny by Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni. Image Comics.

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 23 2014 12:16 PM Another Intervention?    Anti-ISIS airstrikes aren’t about keeping Americans safe.  
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon That Wasn’t
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.