Comics for Ukraine Non-Review

By | Monday, October 09, 2023 Leave a Comment
I don't need to tell you how Vladimir Putin's Russian military invaded Ukraine on Feburary 24, 2022. It the largest attack on a European nation since World War II, also causing the largest flow of European refugees since since then. It's seen the deaths of tens of thousands of Ukranian civilians, and caused untold worldwide supply chain issues (already strained because of the pandemic) particularly for grain and wheat. Some aspect of the war has been on the news (regardless of your outlet of choice) literally every day for the past year and a half.

It should come as no surprise that any number of groups, both formal and informal, have done what they could to aid the Ukranians. Some of that is food aid, some is transportation, some is just sending money to use however they see fit. Scott Dunbier's approach has been to get together a group of comics creators to make an anthology book, the proceeds of which will be/are being donated to Ukranian refugees. He's rounded up the likes of Kurt Busiek, Walt Simonson, Howard Chaykin, Stan Sakai, Matt Wagner, Jill Thompson, Emil Ferris, Colleen Doran, and a bunch of other creators to contribute new pieces to it. That's you really need to know, honestly. If you've got the money and want to help, go pick up a copy.

"Well, that's not even close to a review, Sean!"

It isn't. In the first place, I'm not good at reviewing anthologies. Inevitably, some stories are better than others, some stories speak to me more than others. Is an anthology "good" if I think half the stories are good? Is it "good" if one story is really brilliant, but the rest are only "meh"? Is it "good" if the individual stories are good, but the organization and editing are crap? I'm never quite sure how to adequately/fairly review an anthology book.

I'll say this about it. If you like the work of any of the individual creators generally, you'll like their work here. If you like Chew, you'll like the Chew story here. You like Groo, you'll like the Groo story here. The creators all turn in work that's on par with whatever else they've done. I will also say though, that for me, the most powerful and most impressive story was Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas' "Talking to a Hill" which was the only story that didn't add a layer of metaphor, and spoke to some of what's happening in Ukraine specifically without just presenting a "war is bad" message.

But in the second place, that's not why you should get the book anyway. You should get it to help the Ukrainian refugees. Yes, you can (and should) donate money directly to organizations that are trying to help and your donation will go farther since the printing costs of the book don't have to be factored in. But that's abstract enough for many people that it's difficult to justify, so this will put something in your hands as well and might make that decision a little easier. You can get a variety of different versions, hardcover or paperback, signed or unsigned, as well as t-shirts and prints. There's plenty to choose from. Go pick up a book or two today.
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