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Flight: Volume 4    edited by Kazu Kibuishi order for
by Kazu Kibuishi
Order:  USA  Can
Villard, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Lance Victor Eaton

Comic anthologies are becoming more and more popular. Rather than just a straight dose of a single story or series, anthologies offer a smorgasbord of style, art, storytelling, and color. Flight Volume 4 is no exception. In fact, this behemoth collection of imagination and fantasy maintains the already established standards set by previous volumes.

With twenty-five pieces from some of the best up-and-coming artists - who primarily function from the Internet - this collection delivers a wide range of stories that will be sure to grab anyone's attention. From the storyboard feel of Azad Injejikian's The Vampyres of Salem to Ovi Nedeclu's horizontally displayed Big Wheels to the striking color schemes of Pascal Campion's The Storm, the anthology keeps readers on their toes by throwing at them the logical and illogical, the real and the surreal. The art ranges, but one must keep in mind that these were all computer-generated. This proves intriguing when readers get to pieces such as Lark Pien's Story of Binny and Twenty-four Hours by Andrea Offermann. These are much grainier and fine cut than many of the rest, which appear more cartoon than comic.

Kibuishi again proves himself both capable as an editor - in collecting and arranging these works - as well as an artist. His story, The Window Makers, looks at passing the torch of a skill onto the next generation; an intriguing theme, considering the composition of talent in this anthology. Many artists from previous anthologies have returned to further develop previous stories (e.g. Michael Gagne's Saga of Rex) or try out new material. But what prove to be the most intriguing stories in this collection are the wordless pieces or those with very few words. While these may seem easier to take in than wordier selections, they require almost a different type of reading; one that thoroughly explores each panel in search of deeper meaning for the piece as a whole. Though few will take the time to do so, it can prove rewarding.

This series has proved itself time and again for its creativity, variety, and dedication to the medium. When famous comic writers such as Scott McCloud (Making Comics) talk about the frontier of the medium, Kibuishi is right there delivering a selection of goodies that will leave readers looking forward to the next volume.

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