Comicsphere: 303 by Garth Ennis

303 cover The idea of telling a story through the history of an object is not new and neither is the idea of that object being a gun. Still, if that’s all there was to this story then it wouldn’t be Garth Ennis in the driving seat, would it? It’s kind of odd to read a story where a soldier is a hero these days; it’s doubly odd that he should be a Russian. I won’t tell you where the story ends because that kind of defeats the whole purpose of hipping you to the thing in the first place — if that is, as a comics fan, you haven’t already picked this up. It is moving, it is political (both in the personal and larger sense of that word). Like any good story you wish it was longer, but it does what it needs to and then it gets out of there. Ennis is on top form, as is Jacen Burrows who I have to say is becoming a real favourite of mine. Neither writer or artist miss a beat, and I have mentioned it elsewhere in regards to other writers and artists — when there is a synergy like this it really seems like such an effortless thing and I’m sure it isn’t. All the dots that get connected are shown as part of a larger problem, and this is done in such a lean and efficient style of storytelling you barely notice that you are being taught something. This is how to be political — disguise it. It is always easier to read a lesson if it doesn’t come across as pure didacticism. This really resonates, and the sketch of an idea I laid out in that first paragraph becomes something embroidered with so much more. You will care about everything that is talked about in this story because that’s how good the writing and the art are.

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