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Monday, February 11, 2008

 

Lifelike -- Dara Naraghi's been writing small press comics for about as long as I have been writing about comics, and he finally gets a chance in the spotlight with the beautiful hardcover collection Lifelike.

Naraghi writes all the stories in this anthology, with a strong collection of up-and-coming artists illustrating his vision. Some, like Steve Black and Tom Williams, are welcome, familiar names; others, like Jerry Lange and Tim McClurg, are new to me. But they all bring their best work to Naraghi's scripts, resulting in a book that is visually diverse but beautiful to look at, and held together by the strength of Naraghi's writing.

From reading his earlier comics, it's no surprise to me that Naraghi loves to write; in fact, it comes through in everything he does. The stories in Lifelike span a variety of genres, from autobiography to EC-style suspense (the excellent "Double-Cross at the Double Down" with artist MP Mann). But virtually everything here has the spark of genuine creativity and the power to entertain. The final story, "Repair," is visually stunning thanks to the confident, Euro-stylings of artist Shom Bhuiya, and the sense of place and emotion Naraghi's script brings to the piece ring true.

IDW has delivered superb production values for this volume, packed with good comics in a gorgeous hardcover for just twenty bucks. Naraghi's a name you'll be seeing in comics more and more in the years ahead, so Lifelike seems like an obvious bargain to me. It's twenty bucks you won't regret spending in the least, and if you're new to Naraghi's writing, a very good entry into his world.

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