Flight Explorer: Volume 1
Reviewed by Kailyn Kent
Flight Explorer is a collection of unconnected short comics, and of very good ones. The stories are set in diverse worlds, including desert planets, the Nile delta, expansive dream-worlds, and dreamy reimaginings of suburbia. The characters are clever and funny, making great travel companions. You can look at Flight Explorer like a magazine full of comics, and this is a perfect book to keep in the back pocket of your family’s car: the stories make for wonderful small reads for short waits and sudden comics cravings.
To be honest, you might find a comic anthology less appealing than a regular comic book. Storylines, recurring characters or a consistent world account for a lot of a comic book’s excitement, and you don’t have anything close to the length of a novel in which to submerge yourself. The good news is that many of the stories are exclusive chapters of longer series. If you love a character or world, it’s likely that you can read more about their adventures online or in other books.
There isn’t an obvious reason to buy Flight Explorer if you are really motivated by longer storylines. In its defense, I’ve been surprised by how entertained I am long after the comics are no longer new. Flight Explorer might also be a good way to get your relatives or older friends into comics, as adults will love the beautiful art and simple, individual stories. Finally, the comics themselves are truly wonderful. I have not found anything as funny as “Perfect Cat” by Johane Matte in a long time.
Some stories are actually creepy, others surprising, and most are very smart. I was happy to find two stories about my favorite fantasy: having a monster for a companion. In Flight Explorer, some stories end the way you’d expect them to, but many don’t.
I would easily give Flight Explorer as a gift, because it’s the kind of comic book you keep coming back to browse through, and is accessible to nearly anyone. And if you choose to pick up this collection of comics yourself, I hope it opens up new worlds for you.
About the Reviewer:
Kailyn Kent is student at Carleton College in Minnesota, production intern for Nickelodeon Magazine for Winter 2009 and the creator of the comic series "Poison People". You can view her work on her blog at kailynkent.blogspot.com.