Crossover 1 - Kids Like Chains, review: when worlds collide

Crossover 1 - Kids Like Chains, review: when worlds collide

Crossover 1 - Kids Like Chains, review

Could a superhero comic welcome readers with a quote from Wertham's The Seduction of the Innocents? The famous essay that sanctioned the painful end of the Golden Age is our ticket to Crossover 1 - Kids like chains, a new intuition of Donny Cates, a multifaceted author capable of moving from the solid narrative universes of the two comics majors to productions more eclectic, which ironize the figure of the superhero in the world of comics. Crossover is part of a vision of superheroic comics that, thanks to saldaPress, we were able to appreciate in two volumes Buzzkill and Paybacks - Heroes in Debt.

To better appreciate the power and the originality of Crossover 1, the reading of Buzzkill and Paybacks is highly recommended, if only to immediately get in tune with the ironic and parody with which Cates has approached the theme of the superhero. An irreverent approach that enjoyed showing readers the typical idiosyncrasies of superheroic comics, grasping the rich production of the genre with both hands, parodying and more or less openly mocking the dynamics typical of genre narrative. Having taken this first step, Cates was not satisfied, but decided to raise the bar and move to an even more courageous analytical level: the relationship between medium (comic) and user (reader). An intriguing intent that prompted him to orchestrate a story in which narration and metanarrative find a happy synthesis, allowing not only to enjoy an adventure full of fun ideas and capable of paying homage to the heart of superheroic narrative, but also to question our relationship. with these heroes of paper, on how much they can, even at a subliminal level, condition our life and popular culture.

Crossover 1 - Kids like chains: when comics become real

"Even the most successful person among you will not have the same impact on this world that a 'fictional' character like Superman has had" .

A reflection that is anything but trivial, so much so that Cates bases Crossover 1 from an assumption: are we more real, or the imaginary characters? Who is it that leaves the greatest mark in history, in culture? Intriguing questions, which came to Cates after a personal dramatic experience, which prompted the author to wonder how much the creations of the artists in the sector are his own legacy, how much fictional characters can coincide with the real world. And hence, intuition.

The Event has in fact made those who until a few years earlier were the darlings of the public, a sort of public enemy. Their violent appearance has become the demonstration of the goodness of Wertham's theories, which have become the basis of a real religious crusade, which sees in the cloaks ('capes' in the original) an evil to be eradicated. People like Otto and Ellipsis are obstinate defenders of the cultural value of comics, of its social imprint, who daily clash with this religious fervor. A hatred that, within the institutions, finds support in a secret organization that intends to capture and exploit superheroes, for purposes that are anything but noble.

Cates talks about our relationship with superheroes

The metanarrative dimension of Crossover - Guys like chains has a declared intent: to make the reader feel at home immediately. Cates relies on narrative suggestions that draw heavily from the comic context, from refined quotes (like God loves, man kills) to the presence of much loved characters from the comic world, drawing both hands from a superheroic pantheon composed of Batman, Spawn, X-Men, Savage Dragon, Odio Favolandia or Black Hammer. In fact, Cates' concept does not create a fake comic production on which to baste her story, but in a brilliant way she decides to create an empathic bond between reader and protagonist (Ellie) by showing common passions. With a touch of sarcastic perfidy, Cates tells on the news the murder of comic creators, such as Vaughn, Kirkman or Zdarsky, lets the protagonists express their disbelief by interacting with their favorites, using a vocabulary made up of quotes and references to the canon world comics.

A narrative verve that should not be confused with a sterile quotationism. Cates, in fact, appeals to a familiarity of names and dynamics, but makes the most of the concept of crossover, transporting this comic practice into an incredible collision of universes, real and fantastic. An encounter that the author recounts in the first person through the captions, animated by his narrative voice, ironic and pungent, with hints of stupendous self-irony and capable of passing from a typical register of the 90s comic fiction to a more intimate tone. , inquiring. Crossover is a comic about comics, but Cates does not forget that with comics you can tell great stories of feelings, of human suffering, transforming superheroes into metaphors of the human condition. The first chapter of his saga is a demonstration of accurate writing, not monolithic but animated by a conceptual crasis in which different ideas intertwine to offer a vision that is sometimes allegorical, but never banal.

Thanks to the passion with which Geoff Shaw, former companion of Cates' adventures in Paybacks and Buzzkill, launches into an authorial marathon. Staying true to his own style, Shaw interprets the story of Cates at its best, with tables of great dynamism for the most agitated scenes and creating emotionally involving glimpses in the numerous opportunities for confrontation between the characters. This already appreciable work of his is combined with a concession to a visual quotationist taste that pays homage to the great cornerstones of comic literature, capturing quotes and adapting their visual styles by placing them within Crossover, with total respect for the originals. A complexity that allows you to appreciate aesthetic tastes from different periods of the history of comics, a sensation made also by the variegated coloring of Dee Cunniffe, who is inspired by history for a color rich in nuances and references, capable of passing from a modern taste made of great bright flashes at moments in which a soft palette with a classic soul prevails.

saldaPress has confirmed its confidence in Cates 'inspiration by publishing Crossover in a hardcover volume that gives full credit to Cates' work, welcoming us with a preface by the author and a rich gallery of variant covers. The paper chosen for the publication of the volume is excellent for enhancing the graphic components, allowing you to fully appreciate the authorial proof of the duo Shaw - Cunniffe. To further merit of saldaPress, the publishing house must be acknowledged for having once again offered the public an exciting reading capable of offering a different vision of superheroic fiction.

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