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Publisher: Image Comics

Creator: Various

Pages: 432 color

Language: English

Genre: Dreamy Fantasy

More than 30 accomplished young artists take off on the theme, sometimes loosely construed, of flight in this follow-up to an acclaimed anthology that appeared last year. A few, such as Jeff Smith (Bone, 2004) and Doug TenNapel (Creature Tech, 2002), have achieved prominence in the graphic-novel world, but most have devoted their considerable talents to web comics and animation. Despite their newness to print, they master the medium beautifully. The anthology’s batting average is impressively high—there’s nary a dud in the bunch—but standouts include TenNapel’s warped funny-animal tale, with touches of both Krazy Kat and Spongebob; Rodolphe Guenoden’s cautionary equation of lust and death; and Doug Holgate’s wordless saga of a canine astronaut. The spirit of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki—whose films often depict flight—is especially strong in several stories. It’s encouraging to see so many young creators whose influences stem from Japanese and European comics rather than the superhero stories that have dominated American mainstream comics for decades. At more than 400 pages, there is something in this elegantly produced collection for everyone, including readers who usually snub comics.