cover image Channel Zero:  The Complete Collection

Channel Zero: The Complete Collection

Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, intro. by Warren Ellis. Dark Horse, $19.99 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-59582-936-8

If it’s true that some stories become less relevant with age, the opposite applies to Channel Zero. The original 1997 series was the brainchild of Wood (DMZ, Demo) who began working on it while an art student. Set in New York in the not-so-distant-future, it tells the story of Jenny 2.5, a tattooed info-terrorist who becomes a media icon when she begins interrupting television broadcasts to spread her message. Fanatical special interest groups have forced the government to pass the Clean Act, in which free speech is suppressed. Jennie 2.5’s mission is to wake up a population that has grown tired of fighting and largely given in. Included is the prequel story, “Jenny 1.0” (drawn by Cloonan), as well as a host of additional material, including early drawings and insights on both process and story by Wood. What makes Channel Zero so significant is that it is unapologetically experimental; Wood is far more interested in trying out a variety of visual techniques than in creating something that is slick and polished. The result is a graphic novel whose form and content could not be more perfectly matched. And it’s a kick-ass story, too. (May)