"East of West": What is Beauty?


East of West: #1-42

Hickman - Dragotta - Martin

Image Comics

I’ve been thinking about graphic novels and comics: What are they? How are they different from novels? Film? Paintings? Which led me to a kind of Ars Poetica moment. What attracts me to one comic over another? It has to start with the image, not at the expense of good prose, but the image is critical. East of West, I believe, is beautiful. If nothing else, you should read it for that. The colors are vibrant, bold, page filling. I’m not an art major, so maybe someone else can tell me what the exact art style is. Whatever you want to call it, I love it.

And the story is excellent too. There are shades of The Odyssey, Biblical plagues, futuristic civil wars, and sci-fi/cowboy mash-up galore.

I want to know how this story ends; I want to read this again and again— and I think you will too.

4238660-1 eastofwest.016.cvr1_.jpg

I recently heard Colson Whitehead speak. He said there are really only two genres of stories: Those you like and those you don’t. East of West feels like I’m strolling through an art gallery. There are so many panels that work well.

Finally, the story echoes ideas from McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: What is war? Is it humanity at its worst or best? Or, is there even a point to asking that question? We are defined by strife and there’s plenty here in East of West.