Comic Review: Michael Chabon’s The Escapists TPB (Dark Horse)

Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay was a love letter to the Golden Age of comics, and to the writers and artists who created superhero comics. […]

Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay was a love letter to the Golden Age of comics, and to the writers and artists who created superhero comics. Brian K. Vaughan’s comic Michael Chabon’s The Escapists is a love letter to the novel, as well as a sequel to it.

Sequels to something in one medium that are made in another rarely live up to the original work (the vast majority of direct-to-video Disney movie sequels are prime examples of this), but Vaughan is one of the select few creators that has managed to do it.

It’s the story of Maxwell Roth, who discovers that his father was one of the biggest fans of Kavalier and Clay’s hero the Escapist when his mother gives him the key to the room where his father had stored all his old comics and Escapist memorabilia. He becomes a fan as well, and after his mother dies he uses his inheritance to buy the rights to the character. With the assistance of his friends Denny and Case, he publishes his own Escapist comic.

They stage a viral marketing stunt in the hopes of getting good sales numbers for their first issue, and when it is far more successful than planned it draws the attention of an executive of the corporation that Maxwell bought the rights from – who decides that he wants them back.

Vaughan uses the story Maxwell writes for his comic to comment on as well as drive the plot of the real book. And the art is absolutely fantastic. The scenes set in the real world are clean and sharp, and Case’s art for Maxwell’s comic has the rough moodiness of Sienkiewicz with the dynamic page layouts of Steranko. The final page is a perfect conclusion to the story. And the trade has a foreword by Chabon that tells a story about Vaughan meeting Sam Clay.

Recommendation: Buy. Seriously, read this.

About Grady W Smithey III

A 49 year old with a lot of comics and even more opinions. Rumors that he is a fugitive from a parallel Earth are probably just exaggerations.