Humans’ obsession with flight seems to be an age-old interest. Whether it has to do with quickening travel, gaining new perspective on the physical world, or enjoying the defiance of gravity, we yearn to be capable to leave the ground in such a fashion that also guarantees safe return. It is no wonder, then, that when an anthology is created based on the concept of taking to the air, it would spawn enough interest to generate a second volume. What proves most interesting is how each artist here approaches the idea of “flight.” Not all tales are straightforwardly linked to this theme, and readers will have ponder or debate how the artists invoke the theme, which makes it an all the more interesting collection.
Few would have thought Flight, Volume 2 could be more impressive than the first as well as twice its size. With over thirty colorful tales, this anthology does more than just tell a bunch of stories about flying; it provides a rich and engaging catalogue of style, technique, and genre that helps readers conceptualize the range and abilities of comic art. A variety of styles is present, including manga, digital, and even surrealistic art. The range of approaches boggles the mind as some artists utilize watercolor, others depict their tales with grainy images and still others with crisp solid images. Stories run from a few pages up to forty with a scattering of genres including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and humor, to name but a few.
Some of the most intriguing pieces are the wordless ones, such as “Wilford’s Stroll.” Here, a young girl takes her dog for a walk in the rain, where she encounters a older man who has crashed his hovercraft and asks (silently) for assistance. In return, he grants her a ride on his vehicle, and they soar above the clouds to see the beautiful skyline. It is not an epic story but a simple tale about helping others and the joys it may potentially bring to one’s life. “Inner Sanctum” is another silent tale that follows a fox as he encounters an alien flying fox that takes him one a series of adventures and reveals an entire universe to him.
Surprisingly, the anthology does not offer any black-and-white stories, though the array of color offered is nothing short of overwhelming. Some pieces such as “Tendergrass” and “La Sonadora” dominate their panels with a particular hue or tint. Others, including “Blip Pop,” are striking with the bright and dazzling colors provided throughout the story.
With over four hundred glossy pages of stories and panels, this collection certainly proves worthy of its price. As with all anthologies, readers may not love every story, but they will certainly find a fair share to enjoy. If Kibuishi proved competent with his first volume, he has proven himself talented with this edition. The flight of imagination invoked in this anthology will have readers yearning for additional volumes.