cover image Nod Away

Nod Away

Joshua W. Cotter. Fantagraphics, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-60699-911-0

This indie SF tale, set in a plodding future dystopia where adults use children as conduits for connecting everyone in a strange form of group consciousness, fails to generate interest in either story or visuals. There are great concepts, but Cotter (Driven by Lemons) tries too hard to be mysterious about everything from a dimensional portal to a sinister, insipid television show. Dr. Melody McCabe, who's trying to find an alternative to the abuse of children, is a paper-thin character with a failing relationship and coworkers from the clich%C3%A9 shop (pedantic woman, loud horny bisexual woman, loud horny heterosexual man, aloof mad scientist). They all talk so much that most panels can barely squeeze in art. Save for a few abstracts and splash pages, there's a sameness in the panels that makes the word balloons even more dominant. This space-based story is inescapably bland. (Feb.)