I know I’m pretty new but I’m already going to give you a peek behind the curtain here. Usually when I consume something, be it written, video, audio or visual I usually write a review of it in my head. It’s how I’m able to recall things. I consume it, I sum up the experience so it can be categorized and put in a box and then the box can be filed away in the warehouse of my mind. Kind of an abstract description right? It’s also kind of appropriate though when you consider Imaginary Drugs. But I tell you that so that you understand where I coming from here. As I was reading this I was completely stumped as to what category this should be in and I love it for that. Imaginary Drugs advertises “36 Different Stories” and it delivers. It is dense and both its greatest strength and also the hardest part about reading it is the fact that there is no thematic elements. There’s a couple instances of drug use playing into the main plot but other than that you couldn’t find a group of stories with less in common aside from the avant garde creativity each was born from. If I were to go through each story individually we’d be here all day but it seems to go through 3 phases. We start out on Earth and dealing with small groups of people in small horror/fantasy set pieces and it widens its scope until we are in the most fantastical of space bound sci-fi stories before starting to narrow its scope again back onto people and their fantastical, futuristic, albeit Earthbound, environments.
The stories range from trippy to thought provoking to action packed to just downright sad. The one thing they all have in common is they make me feel like a terribly uncreative person. Every single story, no matter what the genre, no matter what the setting, no matter the length or the subject matter they are all incredibly creative. The ideas put on display in this tome are just insane in the best way possible. Each world is presented fully formed and fleshed out and even though we may only spend a few pages with each world and each set of characters each one feels “lived in” and real. Very rarely does it devolve into cliché or genre tropes, most of the time it deals in entirely original conceptual currency. Which is refreshing and something that should be supported.
Something like this is incredibly hard to review. If you try and just go step by step you end up with a 200 page wall of text that does nothing to help you decide if you want to buy it or not. If I try to tear apart every philosophy that’s implied by the text I think you’d end up with something equally long and twice as uninteresting. You can only understand Imaginary Drugs by reading it and digesting it yourself. It’s impossible to know if you’re going to like it or not until you’re 75 pages into this 200 page monster. I promise that you will like something though. With the wide berth of concepts and storytelling on display you are bound to pull something good from it. The best review for something like this is one sentence “This is good comma go buy it”. So, that is what I will leave you with. This is good, go buy it.
Writer: Various Artist: Various Colorist: Various Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $24.99 Release Date: 1/21/15 Format: OGN; Print/Digital