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Michel Gagne – Zed, A Cosmic TaleMichel Gagné is a Canadian artist and writer; he is in involved with tv and film animation, but also produces his own work (his website lists 15 books) and works a a publisher. He has won a BAFTA and an Annie Award.

Zed, A Cosmic Tale, is the collection of his 10 comic books of the same name, published over 11 years. The artwork as well as the writing were reviewed and updated to make the flow and feel of the story more consistent for the re-release as a collection.

The story deal with an adorable alien, complete with antennae, named Zed. When he presents his invention, the Energizer, a machine which turns rocks into powerful energy batteries, to the Hierarchy  of the Galaxy (Emperors, Kings, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Diplomats, Popes, Ambassadors, Scientists, and Movie Stars) on Xandria, the Hub of the Galaxy, for the annual Nob-L Prize Celebration something goes wrong.

The Energizer malfunctions, killing everyone at the celebration (except for Zed, who escapes in a spaceship which another genius, dead now, presented before him), and obliterating the planet. He is being blamed for the catastrophe by General Maxxus, of Metalia's Armed Forces, who now takes control, and follows Zed to his home planet, Gallos.

On the one hand this is a fun book – the aliens are adorable and varied, the graphics are excellent, and some of the quirks (Krah, the loudest Metal Band in the Universe have a starring role. You see, everybody loves metal in this universe!) had me laugh out loud.
It's too bad that the plotting does not live up to the rest of the package, though. The story feels disjointed, inconsequential, and lacks any kind but the most basic stringency. It is (in keeping with how the book was originally written) nothing more but a series of marginally connected episodes, with frequent (and open) regress to 'magic' technology and divine interventions. I could not make out any real message, or meaning to the whole thing.

Overall this is a mixed pleasure – get it for the great graphics, but don't expect much from the actual story.


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Title: Zed, A Cosmic Tale
Author: Michel Gagne
Series: Zed
Series Number: Collection, 1-10
Reviewer: Markus
Reviewer URL: http://thierstein.net
Publisher:  Image Comics
Publisher URL: http://www.imagecomics.com
Publication Date: Feb 2013
Review Date: 130121
ISBN: 9781607066682
Price: UKP 13.5
Pages: 282
Format: Large format paperback
Topic: SF
Topic: Graphic Novel

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

 

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