When was the last time you read a comic book – or any book for that matter – that left you feeling better about your life and the world? When have you read something that wasn’t just beautifully illustrated and grippingly told but that also brightened your outlook? My 22nd read of 2016 did just that. Volume One of Low, written by Rick Remender with art by Greg Tocchini, is a gorgeous 180 page graphic novel set in the far future when humanity lives below the ocean in near despair and extinction. The setting and the survivors are literally and emotionally low, knowing they may have only a few months of air left to breathe as their search for a new inhabitable planet seems near its fruitless conclusion. But one women – Stel – refuses to give up hope. Her optimism fuels her powerful determination to protect her family and find a future for the human race.
In his introduction to the book, Remender talks about realizing that in all his writing he had never written a truly optimistic character; writing the story of Stel propelled a personal journey into optimism as a writer and person that shines through this book. I tweeted a few quotes from the book and could easily send out more, because as I’ve said in previous blog posts I live my life as an optimist in a world that rarely encourages hope. Low encourages me to hang in there.
Plus the book is beautiful. Tocchini’s art style in incredible, adding richness to the story with its vivid depictions of undersea life, future technology, and human emotion. I tweeted a couple of screen shots and put another one here that comes from one of several pivotal moments in the story. Volume 2 is already out and I know I’ll be picking it up soon. Remender is one of my favorite comic book writers and this story might be the best thing I’ve read from him. If you life fabulous art and well-told stories, and if you could use an encouragement to hope in the midst of the world’s sorrow and fear, then I’d suggest you pick this book up from Image. I think you’ll be glad you did.