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Zot! The Complete Black and White Collection: 1987-1991

by Scott McCloud

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, black and white, $24.95

ISBN: 978-0-06-153727-1

Reviewed by: Library Journal

Before the brilliant Understanding Comics, cartoonist McCloud created the much-loved Zot! starring an eternally optimistic, supremely self-confident, and genuinely decent teen superhero from a bright, advanced alternate Earth. This wonderful collection reprints all of McCloud's black-and-white Zot! work—not included is the series' initial ten-issue, full-color story, in which Zot first meets future girlfriend Jenny, a resident of our Earth. High-spirited, humor-laced heroics predominate in some early tales here; others are more dramatic, including Zot's disheartening first encounters with crime and disaster on our imperfect planet, and his battle against 9-Jack-9, the phantom assassin who killed his parents. Later stories present finely wrought character studies of Jenny's circle of friends, and here McCloud breaks down some barriers for superhero comics, dealing sensitively with issues of homosexuality and teen sex. As McCloud laments (rather too self-critically) in new commentary inserted between stories, his art style was still developing—but some work here, especially in stories involving the mad artist Dekko and his abstract visions, presages the style, invention, and concerns of Understanding Comics. Nominated for 12 Eisner and Harvey Awards in its initial serialization, this is highly recommended for teens and adults. —Steve Raiteri