Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From the Reading Pile: Flight Volume 6

Flight: Volume Six
By Various
Edited by Kazu Kibuishi

It almost seems moot to try to review this book in light of the ongoing feature here on Understanding Comics. To a certain extant, it seems pointless to be trying to review any comic at this point in time, but I will keep trucking forward.

Flight has long been the acme of the comics anthology. It has soared us to the highest heights the format can possible have us expect of it. While I have not been a fan of every story in the five previous volumes, it is easy to say that the love and creative power on display in this series is a testament to comics as a medium.

That being said. This one is the first to falter. It is not to say that the creative energy and effort was not put into this volume. It is as well crafted, beautifully illustrated and entertaining as any of the previous volumes. No, the problem here is content. With the debut of Flight Explorer a couple of years ago, which was this reader's first foray into the series, Flight became the property of the more mature reader. There have been stories that were not necessarily suited to an all ages audience in past volumes - be it through innuendo, drug use, thematics, or what have you. Explorer opened a division in the franchise, a place for the child to revel in its delights but be shielded from what might be viewed as improper for younger readers. It seems now that maybe that was not the intent. Maybe, Explorer was purely an effort in younger reader fare, not all ages content. The difference between Jeff Smith's Bone and his Little Mouse. This should not be problematic, but then why is so much of what was on display in Explorer present in this volume?

On to the actual stories. The return of Daisy Kutter is welcome here. We also have the best entry thus far in The Saga of Rex. Other returning favorites include Jellaby and Fish N Chips. Some of the best Pantomine comics ever are presented in "Dead at Noon" and "Walters". "Mate" is the most stunningly inventive design work of the year. All in all it is an entertaining volume, it is just curious why this volume seems to be Flight Explorer expanded, instead of Flight proper.


  1. I got my copy today and flipped through it. And I was, for the first time, not totally excited! After reading your review I understand Flight volume 6 is more Flight Explorer volume 2!
    Only Michel Gagné is for me worth the buy.
    After 6 volumes I safely can say volume 1 and 2 set almost an impossible standard...

  2. I don't think it was a waste of time or money. I just think I was surprised a bit at it. It is still the best anthology on the market, but too many like this and Popgun will easily snatch the title.

  3. Agreed! But I am so spoiled by the previous volumes of Flight that volume 6 was a bit of a
    "let down", for me. Still I surely would recommend all 6 volumes to comic readers who want something new and different. Both Flight and Popgun ( and on a lesser extent, Liquid City ) show what you can do with the medium comic book storytelling in new and innovative ways.