Zot! Book 1 by Scott McCloud

After I saw the new black-and-white Zot! collection at Big Brain Comics, I went back to my shelf for the out-of-print Zot! Book 1, which collected the first ten issues of Zot! by Scott McCloud. The issues were in color, and published by dear, departed Kitchen Sink. McCloud has gone on from his 80’s series to push the boundaries of comics production, and write books about the history and future of comics: Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and the new Making Comics.

In his introduction, McCloud makes it clear that the first ten issues of Zot! were his training ground. He acknowledges, but doesn’t apologize (much) for the simple story and evolving visual style. Nonetheless, this collection still delights. It came out around the same time as Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and is a refreshing, hopeful, counterbalance to those dystopic visions–a comic sorbet, if you will. Zot is Zachary Paleozogt, a blond teen superhero from an alternate Earth. When he crashes into ours, literally, he meets Jenny Weaver and her brother Butch, and wacky hijinks ensue in the pursuit of a golden key to the door at the end of the universe.

Butch, to Zot: What do you know about being a superhero, anyway? What’re your powers? A Gun?? Boot jets?? Feh! Y’gotta be mnore aggressive, kid! Get mean. Kill a few people! And stop grinning so much!!

Zot: ?

Butch: All the good heroes act like they big problems all the time…

Zot: But, what if I don’t have any big problems?

Butch: That’s OK, neither do they! They just act like they do! C’mon, get serious! Give it a try!

Zot: Uh, all right. [Glares, then bursts into laughter.] I can’t do it!

Butch: Hopeless…

is a sweet book with substance, great for young adults and jaded older ones, too.

Comments are closed.