Friday, February 25, 2011

Unimaginable (Tom Pinchuk/Kurt Belcher)

You may remember Tom Pinchuk from last year's Why Buy Hybrid Bastards!? segment. His newest OGN, Unimaginable, just hit stores this week, and is every bit as quirky and high-concept as his past efforts.


In Unimaginable, strange girl named Stump wakes up in a dream world where she is put to work as a Solver, someone who is tasked with solving problems of all sizes and natures. She is aided by two cooky Solver sidekicks, Lank and Chin, who insist on following the rule book when confronting each problem. Stump, on the other hand, uses her own mix of common sense and absurd logic to overcome the obstacles she faces. Behind all of these problems are the Unimaginables, creatures so terrifying and powerful that no one can even imagine who, what, when, where, why, or how they are. Stump and her fellow Solvers must come up with creative ways to thwart the Unimaginables ever more complicated and dangerous schemes.

What makes Unimaginable unique is the accessibility of the metaphors at play throughout the story. While not necessarily marketed as a children's book, the playful tone and proverbial nature of the protagonist's challenges are reminiscent of morally-centered children's fare. Stump faces her problems head on, and encourages her accomplices to not be afraid of coming up with innovative solutions. It's actually quite charming how Pinchuk keeps the allegorical problem-solving nature of his plot so readily accessible on the surface of the narrative.

There are plenty of cute moments in the book where characters use dream logic or some other absurd literalism to solve a problem, but really you want to read this one for the overall message. Kurt Belcher's art is a bit chaotic, and the lettering leaves much to be desired. If you can get into the story, though, those things can be overlooked. I wouldn't recommend Unimaginable if you're a die-hard comics fan looking for a challenging or powerful read, but this book seems like it would be a fantastic choice for introducing a younger reader to the medium.


by Tom Pinchuk and Kurt Belcher

Not very challenging, but a cute and quirky concept that the plot clings to genuinely.

Belcher's art is not for everyone, but it certainly has a distinct style, and Pinchuk's writing is clear and easy to follow.

If you've got a young one at home who you're trying to get interested in comics, or reading in general, Unimaginable would be a great place to start. That is probably the exact opposite response that one would have to Tom Pinchuk's previous OGN, Hybrid Bastards!, which shows that the man's got range.


Keep reading, Genoshans!

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