I wish that there were more books like Mostly Wordless being published. I wish that there were more publishers like Alternative Comics that were willing to take a chance on books like Mostly Wordless. There isn’t one thing in particular that makes it great; all I can tell you was that as I held it in my hand I was swept away by its beauty, but it’s sheer artistic nature and the way it danced with my imagination. I didn’t set it down and become a better person having learned more or because my eyes were opened to the world around me; I came away with an overwhelming sense of joy and childlike imagination. I have since read it two more times.
Mostly Wordless is exactly what the title describes… mostly wordless. The first time words appear outside of a title or credits is on page twenty-two and even then it’s short and sweet. The reason the book is mostly wordless is because creator Jed Alexander’s artwork is so vivid, so realistic, that you can tell everything that’s happening in the story just from looking at the page.
The artwork itself is photorealistic and I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t referenced photos. Either way Alexander has captured realistic movement with the characters. From the little dog swimming, to a young girl dancing like a beatnik for fun. The motion and body language is very human, very natural and that’s definitely not something you always find in this medium.
I had the joy of reading it digitally which meant that I saw two pages at once, but the way that Alexander has set up each page is that there is no break in these pages. There is no “gutter” to divide them and without the center crease I experienced the book in its perfect form. In a lot of ways this reminded me of children’s books I read growing up that would do this exact same thing; by doing so there is a natural flow to the art and the movement of the characters. In a way it is one page setting with the characters moving throughout the page.
You could even say that this is a kid’s book in a way, but I hate to classify it as such because I had so much fun reading it. That and I don’t know if a lot of kids would understand the reason why there aren’t many words.
While I don’t see the average superhero comic reader picking this book up, part of me wishes they would. It’s an incredible piece of art and imagination. The stories are simple, but because the visual storytelling is so powerful it’s all you need for your own imagination to dive in and become a kid again. I know that some people will pick this up right away as they’d enjoy being transformed into a child just for a moment, but hopefully others will be bold and pick it up and dive in as well.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Jed Alexander Publisher: Alternative Comics Price: $18.95 Release Date: 5/13/14