Saturday, November 3, 2012

The CBLDF Presents Liberty Annual 2012

Written by Jonathan Hickman, Andy Diggle, Howard Chaykin, Steven T. Seagle, Joe Keatinge, James Robinson, James Asmus, Richard Starkings, Chris Roberson, Chris Giarrusso, David Hine, Brandon Graham, Jim McCann, Kieron Gillen, Terry Moore, and Robert Kirkman
Art by Jonathan Hickman, Ben Templesmith, Sina Grace, Marco Cinello, Chynna Clugston-Flores, J. Bone, Takeshi Miyazawa, Ian Churchill, Roger Langridge, Gabriel Bá, Chris Giarrusso, Doug Braithwaite, Brandon Graham, Janet Lee, Nate Bellegarde, Terry Moore, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn

I'm always impressed with the line-up that Image and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are able to put together for these Liberty Annuals.  There is an impressive list of creators involved in this book, and while the stories are all very short, there is a lot of stuff to love about this book.

First and foremost, there is a Walking Dead story featuring the Governor.  This story doesn't really fit into the book's theme of preserving free speech, but at the same time, it is so rare for there to be side-projects featuring the characters from this series, that for many, this alone should be worth the purchase price.  Basically, in this story, we learn about the origin of the Governor's collection of fish tanks (seen in last week's episode of the TV show).

The rest of this book does deal with the free speech or liberty themes, in a variety of ways.  David Hine and Doug Braithwaite preview their upcoming Image series Storm Dogs by giving us some of the history of the science fiction world it is going to be set in - this series looks like it's going to be very good.

Andy Diggle and Ben Templesmith give us a great story wherein the Devil appears in front of a trio of young people, only to learn that the people of the 21st century have moved beyond many of the concepts that once gave him entry into peoples' minds.  If only this were more true...

Jim McCann and Janet Lee tell a nice story of a conversation between an older woman and a young man who has what can be referred to as an 'unconventional family', although the theme of their conversation is that it's not all that unconventional.

James Robinson and J. Bone totally grabbed my attention with their short story of an American soldier who has come to Canada to escape something, and is being pursued by two men who are probably something other than men.  The story is tagged as a prologue to 'The Saviors'; I hope this means that these two gentlemen are working on a new series together.  Bone's art is wonderful - blocky, and coloured only in green, it doesn't look at all like his all-ages work.

Joe Keatinge and Chynna Clugston Flores share a nice little story about a family movie theatre.  James Asmus and Takeshi Miyazawa give us a great short story about the things that people do when they know that the world is about to end.  Beyond that, there are some terrific one- and two-page strips by the rest of the creators listed above, and a beautiful Gabriel Bá cover.

This book is well worth buying, even if the proceeds didn't go to support the CBLDF.  Go get it.

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