About a year ago I read the first issue comic that appears as the first story in this graphic novel. The (four star) review was brief and said:
Set in the not-too-distant future when an alien race arrived, made no direct contact, and planted some extremely large pillars, or trees, across the globe. Some were struck through the middle of cities, spewing a toxic waste, initially. Now…they just seem to be ‘there,’ with people living and working around them. But of course things have changed. Life has changed, government has changed, all because of the trees. It’s an intriguing concept and I look forward to more.
And to be honest, not much has changed except that we get a bit more of the stories in this compilation.
There are multiple stories taking place and the only thing that connects them (at this time), are the ‘trees.’ Other than this, the trees appear to have no purpose other than being a catalyst for the human stories. But a catalyst is precisely what’s needed in drama (and I’ve often written about how similar comics/graphic novels are to theatre and film in regards to the scripts/stories).
In this book we get caught up in the individuals and their stories. This is very much a book about people. It’s a social commentary on human reactions. Add something new to the human collective and there will be those who study it, those who make art of it, and those who fight over it. That’s precisely what we have here.
But author Warren Ellis gives us just enough of a tease about the ‘trees’ to keep us wanting to read more to see what happens to them or what they are doing to us. But this is still a story about how we react to them — at least at this point.
The art by Jason Howard is very appropriate for this book. It’s not hyper-realistic, but slightly ‘edgy.’ It never stuck out, but complemented the story.
I am definitely interested to see where this story goes.
Looking for a good book? The graphic novel Trees, Vol. 1 is a wonderful read and worth exploring.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Trees, Vol. 1
author: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Howard
publisher: Image Comics
paperback, 160 pages