01 August 2011

Rewriting History for Laika

Back in 2008 I wrote about Nick Abadzis’s affecting and grim graphic novel Laika, arguing that it didn’t seem like a book meant for young readers despite being:

  • a dead-dog story.
  • in comics form.
  • picked up by a lot of Young Adult gatekeepers, part of a trend that convinced publisher First Second to stop trying so hard to issue graphic novels for adults.
In honor of Big Planet Comics’s 25th year in business in Washington, DC, Abadzis has created four alternative endings for Laika. One includes lots of “Kirby crackle” and allusions to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Two more are straight alternative histories, on the small and large scale. And one borrows atomic-age superhero tropes to give us the ending we’d been hoping for.

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