Memorial: Imaginary Fiends #2 kick-starts its grand adventure of child-like wonder and youth. This is about characters rediscovering their lost imagination and recognizing where their fantasies come from. There is a strong message about holding onto your dreams while entering adulthood.
WRITTEN BY: Chris Roberson
ART BY: Rich Ellis
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASE: April 3, 2013
During her childhood, Margaret Campbell loved to draw adventures about her pet dragon, Knock-Knocks. Even though Margaret is older, her mind has reverted back to her childhood and has been stuck there for years now. At her nursing home, Margaret’s son, Jonathan, listens to her fantasies about a magic pen and a mirror. Jonathan wonders if her mind will ever snap back to reality. Behind her mirror, Knock-Knocks is trying to break the glass, get out, and warn Jonathan. Something evil has kidnapped his daughter and is holding her hostage.
What I liked about writer Chris Roberson is how he asks readers to analyze their childhood, while taking them on an adventure. In the first subplot, we are in the middle of a college lecture about the breakdown of children’s literature. In the second subplot, a father has to go through the darkest corners of his imagination to find his daughter. It doesn’t matter how old you get in the end. A child and an adult can conjure the same menace out of the darkness.
I really enjoyed the topical discussion during the college lecture. I wanted to jump in, give my own opinion, and say, “That’s not right. It’s meant to be this way.” While providing a critiquing session, Roberson also presents the sadness of growing old. Jonathan makes a living out of drawing, but has he given up on his dreams of becoming a world-renowned artist? What does this mean about wish fulfillment and reality?
Artist Rich Ellis does a great balancing act between providing an attentive lecture and an entertaining adventure. In the college classroom, Ellis tightens his shots by using close-ups and facial expressions. You feel the camped space of the classroom because Ellis doesn’t focus on windows and backgrounds. When Jonathan is in the Land of Maybe, Ellis emphasizes more on space and composition by using wide shots.
Ellis makes great use of flashbacks to show the history of parents and their children. In three panels, Ellis depicts how Margaret, Jonathan, and his daughter are living out their fantasies. They are each telling a story in their own way. Margaret is painting on the mirror, Jonathan dresses up Knock-Knocks in costume, and the daughter is using toy figures.
“Memorial: Imaginary Fiends” #2 continues telling a thoughtful and endearing tale about why children escape into imagination. Fantasies and fears are about to clash as forgotten memories are rediscovered.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis