Monday, 25 October 2010

We3 by Grant Morris and Frank Quitely

We3 is a graphic novel that I stumbled upon whilst browsing Amazon.
I had never before heard of the book, but instantly found it intriguing.
The story is about three mechanically enhanced animals that are part of a government experiment to create the ultimate weapon.
The animals find a way to escape, and find themselves having to run, hide and fight to survive against the army pursuing them.

The animals, simply named 1 (dog), 2 (cat) and 3 (rabbit), are very strange and unique characters.
They are all pets that had been kidnapped from the near-bye city, and anybody who owns the pets of there own will recognise aspects of there personalities that really makes you feel for the characters.

The animals, who refer to themselves as "We3", have a limited ability to talk.
They almost have a language of there own, that can be tricky to understand at points, but truly adds to the unique brilliance of the characters.
This all adds to the great amount of sympathy and sorrow you feel for We3 throughout the book.

Just under 100 pages, We3 is fairly short read, but despite its size, it packs a real punch.
Not only is the book deeply emotional, it manages to fit in a very clear message for animal rights.
There are some moments in the book that can really make you think about what these animals are experiencing, and I can confidently say that out of all the comics I have read, this one has easily gained the strongest emotional response out of me.
The art, by Frank Quitely, is amazingly done.
Despite the characters being animals, as well as being encased in large suits of robotic armour, there expressions show extremely well.
There are certain pages in the book that are the equivalent of an all you can eat buffet for the eyes.
Everything from the page layout, to the amount of detail put into the drawings is far beyond what many comics achieve.
The use of layout is particularly impressive during the action sequences, where the charact
ers become almost animated in the way there movements are shown.
This can sometimes be a problem however, as some pages can be very difficult to follow if you do not take the time to carefully analyse everything that is happening within the panels.

I feel that many of the sequences in the comic could have had a much better impact if the book had been longer, and so more time could be taken to illustrate the events as they unfold.
There is one section towards the end of the book, which I can only best describe as a "boss" encounter without giving too much away, could have been much more dramatic were it given more pages.That isn't to say that the pages are lacking in any way, but it can be very easy to read parts without picking up on everything that happened in the panels.
We3 is an incredibly written, and illustrated book.
Beautiful, emotional, meaningful and epic are all words that anybody who has read this book will no doubt agree describe the contents.

Anybody who loves well written, unique, emotional stories with impressive art should buythis book.
But for those of you who may be more delicate hearted, this is not a particularly happy story.

Doodle of my cat Beefy as a We3 character.
We3 is written by Grant Morrison, with art by Frank Quitely, and is published by Titan Books.