Memorial: Imaginary Fiends #1 is a pleasant nostalgic trip to the past, a reminder of child-like wonder and youth. At its center, this is a whimsical, yet dark tale about rediscovering your lost imagination.
WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson
ART BY: Rich Ellis
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: 99 cents
RELEASE: March 20, 2013
In her childhood, Margaret Campbell loved to draw adventures with her pet dragon, Knock-Knocks. Even though Margaret has grown older and has children of her own, her mind has reverted back to her youth and has been stuck there. At a nursing home, Margaret’s son, Jonathan, tries to understand what she means about a magic pen and a mirror. Behind the mirror, Knock- Knocks is trying to get out and warn Jonathan. Something evil wants to pass through into his dimension and kidnap the children.
What I liked about writer Chris Roberson is how he asks readers to remember their childhood. There is a fondness in Roberson’s writing about searching for an adventure. At its core, this is about believing in fantasy where dragons are real and can talk. There is an interesting emotional theme about letting go of your childhood and moving on. It’s time to grow up but what if you don’t have to? What if your imagination is trying to tell you something, warn you about the future?
Artist Rich Ellis keeps the fantasy aspects grounded in reality. The dragon can walk on two legs because Knock-Knocks used to be a toy. Ellis transitions between past and present, depicting Jonathan in his family life. As an adult, Jonathan lets his daughter have her own imaginary friends. In a flashback, Jonathan remembers how he used to be like her. Ellis keeps readers in Jonathan’s mind, letting his imagination fly when he used to travel into space and be an astronaut.
Though I wish the issue could have lasted longer (it’s only 10 pages), “Memorial: Imaginary Fiends” #1 sets up an endearing tale about children and their imagination. The final page also ties in rather nicely with Roberson’s original “Memorial” series from 2012. This is about recapturing a forgotten moment in youth, which feels real to a child but fake to an adult.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis