Zot!

zot6I’ve always been interested in Scott McCloud’s Zot! having seen artwork during its heyday but I was never able to actually track down an issue. Recently I bought two volumes – one collecting the first ten color issues and another reprinting the black and white issues 11-36. Having now read the entire saga, I can say that I absolutely loved it… Zot himself is as close to a modern day take on Captain Marvel as is possible. That’s not to say there’s any similarity in superficial elements like powers, origins, etc. – I mean that the sense of whimsy, the character’s innate goodness, all of those are found in large amounts.

The characters… wow. I genuinely love Zot, Max, Woody, Terry and all the rest. The villains are fantastic, too – my favorites being Dekker and 9-Jack-9. The gist of the series is that an unhappy young girl named Jenny discovers that there’s another Earth out there… one that’s set in ‘1964’ but not the 1964 of our world. Zot’s world is like retro-future version of society… think Disney’s Tomorrowland or the old Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers type of thing with jetpacks and laser pistols. Jenny falls madly in love not only with Zot but also with his world in general, which seems so much better than her own home.

zot_terryThe final few issues feature Zot trapped on our earth and the storytelling changes a bit but remains very solid. Issue 33, which features Terry’s struggle with her sexuality, is one of the very best comic stories on the topic that I’ve ever read. It’s highly recommended.

If you haven’t come across Zot!, it’s not super easy to find… but it is soooooo worth the effort. I will be going back to these stories in the future and wondering what happened to these characters. I love it.

zot_world

3 Comments on “Zot!

  1. Zot is awesome. McCloud has reminisced that when he wrote Understanding Comics (which is excellent) it was “that book by the guy who did Zot!” and then after it became a landmark it was more “Zot’s the book he did before Understanding Comics.”
    I’m particularly fond of Dekker. I love McCloud’s comment that art’s the only area where you can take your ideals to the extreme with no risk of killing people.

    • I wish more people had gotten exposure to Zot – with all the streaming services out there, I think it’s ripe for adaptation as a television series (I’d prefer it to be animated).

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