Wr/Ill. Brandon Graham

Unconventional stories are a breath of fresh air in the world of comic books. In an industry overrun by Dark Knights and spectacular spiders, it is ice to see a comic book that turns so far left from what this industry markets.

Comic Book Review of Escalator by Brandon Graham.Hard to put a finger on, Escalator, written and drawn by Brandon Graham, can only be described as collection of short stories that put the extraordinary in ordinary events in life. Whether it is a simple story about a couple waking up together for the last time before one leaves on a trip or a surreal one about a man running death himself, each story will definitely leave a mark on any reader.

Brandon Graham earns much praise right off the bat for being a writer and an artist as well. The writing is purely conversational, usually involving two people or inner monologue, with nothing too fancy along the lines of Neil Gaiman but at many times just as thought provoking. It is also somewhat heavy on slang, so think along the lines of an urban Brain Michael Bendis. His storytelling is the thing to look for though. Crafting offbeat stories seems to be one his strengths from stories involving a man running from a group of hungry ravenous school girls (it's funny, trust me) to two friends bonding while spray painting trains. No matter how strange each story gets, there is always a little bit of heart that goes into every story, something that makes these stories hard to ignore.

If his writing invokes Brian Bendis, his art definitely takes several nods from the artistic styles of Jim Mahfood. With art that ranges from pure cartoon to almost a comic/graffiti hybrid, his art is easily recognizable from story to story but always different in little ways. His art is not for everyone but those who enjoy something different and eye catching, will love this book. It is something that is never

Presentation wise, the book is your average trade paperback but every six stories or so, there would be one page that sums up each story and what the creator was thinking when he did each story. There is only a paragraph or two for each story but each one was very informative. This is not something you would expect from a run of the mill trade paperback.

With superhero comics running rampant, it is nice to find some undiscovered gems in the comic book industry once in a while and Escalator is one that shines brightly above the rest.

- James Chan

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