Brian Wood’s Demo is a unique piece of work that features 12 different short stories, all self contained, about young people with a special gift who are put into situations forcing them to make life altering decisions. Some are for the better, some for the worse, and some you just can’t tell, but all hit home one way or another and are wonderfully presented. The stories are introductions- or demos- of what could only be a greater tale. Think of these 12 chapters as the first issue of a new series; they introduce the characters, ending on cliff hangers that leave the reader wondering what happens next. With Demo the reader’s imagination is left to write the rest of the story. Wood gives every character their own voice while Becky Cloonan’s art style subtly changes with each tale, giving the cast of characters distinct looks and each story a different feel that blends beautifully with Wood’s words. Her story telling skills are every bit as impressive as Wood’s.
My personal favorites were #6 (a story about a recently married young man who let his anger take control for one brief moment in his life), #7 (a soldier questions his capacity for murder), #8 (a man is faced with a harsh realization about the woman he loved), #9 (a young couple decide to call it quits), and #12 (it’s just beautiful). The series was originally published in 2003-2004 by Vertigo. Demo vol. 2 was a 6 issue sequel, introducing all new characters; it recently wrapped a month or so ago, so the TPB should be available soon!
Check out the covers to each issue of vol. 1, which tell a story in and of themselves:
If you’re a fan of indie books or just want to check out something different, give Demo a read. It will touch your heart and tap into your human side.
For more on Vertigo, click here!