Last Wish #2 COMIC BOOK review [Adam Berenstain]



Book Reviews
Last Wish #2 COMIC BOOK review [Adam Berenstain]
By
Jan 16, 2002, 00:39

LAST WISH #2 by Adam Berenstain

The long awaited second installment of Last Wish should secure Adam Berenstain's reputation as both an accomplished story-teller and a breathtaking artist. Last Wish is a sort of coming of age tale set against the bleak backdrop of Buffalo, New York. The second issue continues the story of Moses, a young filmmaker/artist and his various relationships (personal, familial, and romantic). Moses' struggle to find his own identity is juxtaposed with scenes from his past. As one might expect, present and past inform each other in a pleasingly non-linear fashion. Last Wish's story is simple enough, and there are certainly many comics out there that have tackled similar issues. What sets Last Wish apart, however, is Berenstain's often genius execution. The shifts between past and present; the beautiful post-industrial landscapes, and the stark, almost woodcut feel of the art (especially the use of line and weight to show emotion) combine to give Last Wish its almost alien, yet inviting, feel. The narrative of Last Wish 2 is, perhaps, not as dynamic as the first issue and its story seems primarily concerned with character development (it's the second installment of a planned six issue series). However, Berenstain's unique artistic style truly comes into its own in this issue. There's no use of grayscale or other conventional tools to convey emotion. These comics get the job done with a masterful use of line and positive and negative space. While the first issue pioneered this format, the second sees Berenstain really becoming more comfortable with the style and bolder in his experimentation. While lack of a major publisher may make these small masterpieces somewhat difficult to find, it's surely worth the effort to track them down. Berenstain's work promises to restore some of the dignity to the tired and clichéd genre of comics realism. One can only hope that, when the story is complete, it will be published in a readily available collected edition for the appreciation of all.

-Jason Cons

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