Chris Roberson has had our hearts for a while with I Zombie, and he’s about to bring us on another wild adventure into a supernatural world of fantasy, lost memories, and magic. This week dawns the first issue of Memorial a brand new series from Roberson with Rich Ellis lending some fantastic artwork. Memorial looks to be a vast and expansive story that is difficult to not fall in love with immediately. From a creepy ventriloquist villain to a talking cat in a magic shop, this one has bizarre adventure written all over it. So if you’re ready to take a ride into one of the most promisingly imaginative books of the New Year, dive into Memorial from IDW this week. Check the ridiculous 11-page preview inside as well. Read on for the skinny…
“New York Times best-selling author and Eisner-nominated creator of iZombie, Chris Roberson, delivers a magical ongoing new series. Memorial is the story of Em, a young woman who arrives at a hospital in Portland, Oregon with no memory of her past. A year later, she has rebuilt her life, only to find her existence thrown into turmoil after she inherits a magical shop. The kind that appears in an alley one instance and disappears the next. Em is drawn into a supernatural conflict between beings that not only represent, but are, fundamental elements of the universe itself. All of existence is at stake, so there’s only a little pressure on Em, the magical shop, and a talking cat. With art by the fantastical Rich Ellis, and covers by the legendary Michael WM Kaluta.”
Roberson has been working on this project for quite some time, and it’s finally about to make it into the hands of the readers. In an interview with CBR, Roberson described the series as drawing influence from books like Dr. Who and Sandman, while equally being influenced by scifi authors like Roger Zelazny. Now, obviously many writers draw influence from such touchstones in literature but if anyone could adeptly capture the mixture of magic and realism like those works, it’s Roberson. So far the series looks as though it is going to be an incredible mix of mythology, humor, and post-modernism, a book that isn’t afraid to dive into the imagination of both it’s characters and the reader. Momorial is one of those epic stories where the supernatural and unconscious layers of the human psyche enter the real world, along with the mischief and evil that comes with it.
The series follows a girl known as Em, who, upon waking up in a hospital, has completely lost her memory and any semblance of her past life. Somehow, this innocent girl finds herself in the midst of the conflict between the supernatural realm and the real world. The whopping 11-page preview that came out a month back offered a little taste in the world of Memorial. The villains, so far as we can tell, are a terrifying ventriloquist dummy, a bald man with a monocle, and some mysterious leader who sits on a throne.
Roberson has hinted that the book looks to bring back a lot of tropes and conventions from classic science fiction and horror stories, such as the enigmatic magic shop that acts as a centerpiece for the story in many ways. It seems that this story has been brewing in Roberson’s mind for some time, and after having time to ferment properly, it’s going to be a magical tale that may just get him another Eisner nomination (and maybe a win this time).
Thus far, Memorial looks like it is going to be a massively complex and intricate genre crossover, that will span over far bigger gaps than any of us could imagine. Expect multiple realms, a whole slew of characters, and adventures that will bring you back to your childhood. This is one book that needs to be on everyone’s pull-list this week. Seriously, how can you not pick up a book with a talking cat?