Midnight Nation - J. Michael Straczynski

I first saw this book back while working at Waldenbooks, but never got around to reading it. When I came across it at the library, I decided to give it a shot. It's a story about David, a gritty LA homicide cop who gets pushed into the world "in-between," where people go when they've fallen between the cracks. He's off to New York to try to get his soul back, accompanied by Laurel, a mysterious woman who's walked this road before. It's a commentary on grand topics like hope, loss, human nature ... with an appearance by (presumably) the devil himself who forces David to make a choice.

It's the type of story I'd like to write myself—something captivating and suspenseful, but with some deeper meanings than simply moving the plot along. Straczynski writes in the afterword that the story arose from an incident in his own life, when he was attacked and mugged, and it led to thoughts about the two different worlds that seem to exist.

I'm a little ambivalent about the artwork. The Walkers are appropriately creepy and they make good use of transparency effects, but all the women tend to wear the same face, and it's a little more toward the traditional comic book art (of which I'm not the biggest fan). But it conveys the story all right, and there are definitely portions that are downright beautiful.

Fed to jonathan's brain | September 15, 2003