More Like East of BEST
I've been a Marvel fanboy for a long time, and it's not very often that I stray from X-Men or Spidey comics; it's a little narrow-minded of me, yes, but it's what I've grown to enjoy. Usually, I go straight to Image, looking for some good books to really delve into, and, as it so happened, two series were cried to the highest of heavens that I couldn't resist taking a gander; they would be Saga and East of West, the two series that everyone's talking about. Saga I found to be pretty great, but lacked some originality, and was a very quick read, something that flew by much too quickly and easily, like a mature blockbuster film. East of West, however, is something far more complex, a deeper narrative that never questions the reader's intelligence, driving full steam ahead, not looking back to see if you're keeping up. And it's marvelous.
I could try and describe the plot to you, but that would take away from the adventure of it all. A fundamental part of this book is building the story slowly over the course of the issues. At first, you're thrown in with little to nothing, but quickly you'll begin to develop pictures of what's going on, where allegiances lie, and so on. And this forced me to become so invested in the story; it caused me to really search for the answers rather than have them given on a silver platter. Admittedly, they spell it out a little bit towards the end of this work to set up for the next portion of the story, but even then there's still so much to explore and see.
Speaking of seeing, the art is absolutely fantastic; every page is beautifully done, with bright, brilliant colors that create potent moods and amazing imagery. The characters have a nice balance of having cartoonish features and feeling real; every page is a treat for the eyes, and it's hard not to survey the whole page before reading the text.
And Hickman, of course, is a great writer; never is there awkward exposition, as everything always feels natural, even if that means the reader needs to work a little harder. The dialogue is crisp and telling, and the characters distinct and prominent. There are a couple of figures that come to mind who could hold more significance or personality, but, at this point in the story, they're taking on a much more minor role, so it doesn't really bother me too much.
Some people will be turned off by how the story may feel slow at first as they try to piece everything together, or they just don't want to think, preferring mindless narration. But for those of us who appreciate well written works that create a world far beyond our own, take a moment to consider East of West as a earnest option for your next journey through the lands of comics.