cover image Demo: The Collection

Demo: The Collection

Brian Wood, . . AiT/PlanetLar, $19.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-1-932051-42-1

A young teen who suffers from painful attacks when off her meds. A college hipster who can remember everything he hears. A jaded, manic girl forced to take the shape of whatever someone wants her to be. In the world of Demo , extraordinary abilities don't come with t skintight costumes and secret identities. Telling an over-arching story in 12 parts, Wood spotlights one afflicted youth in each chapter. From its tragic but hopeful opening to the quiet romance of its closing, the collected series is an artistic triumph. Wood finds his voice in the heads of disaffected young people and the alleys and coffee shops of the big city. His knack for female characterization truly shines here, but it's Cloonan who outdoes herself, drastically altering her art style with each segment of the book, and mastering each phase of her metamorphosis. Wood and Cloonan have created a fantastical and impossible world, yet made it real for the reader while ranging far beyond a preoccupation with the grim and gritty. The small character arcs—while disturbing and disheartening at times—connect to form an uplifting series of vignettes. (Dec.)