The Wednesday Run – April 6, 2011

Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!

Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Rian Hughes Collected Comics
Written by: Various
Illustrated by: Rian Hughes
Published by: Image Comics

Here’s something slightly different for this week’s Wednesday Run: Yesterday’s Tomorrows is a paperback collection of noted British graphic designer and illustrator Rian Hughes’ comic book work from the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Hughes’ clean art style is retro-future looking – that sort of throwback to designers in the 1950’s and 1960’s and the way they thought the world would look at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Think The Jetson’s cartoons – George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Rosie and Astro. Did that bring a smile to your face? Today, we happily marvel at that kind of stylized naivety but with Hughes, that art style is a moving tribute that is also firmly entrenched in modern visual storytelling. And he’s worked with some pretty amazing storytellers in this volume of his work.

Famed writer Grant Morrison is here for two early-career stories based on the famous Brit retro sci-fi character, Dan Dare, chief pilot of the Interplanet Space Fleet. Pulp writer Raymond Chandler appears, too, with Hughes working with Tom DeHaven adapting the noir story “Goldfish” with dramatic black and white, tension-filled designs.

Yesterday’s Tomorrows is a beautiful art book that loosely masquerades as a comic. Every page here is pin-up quality and Image Comics, the publisher, has seen fit to include sketchbook pages, merchandise and rare strips – many of which have never been seen before or have been out of print for over a decade.

If you’re a fan of Rian Hughes, you won’t be disappointed with this book in either your comic or art book collection. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, but still a fan of comics, art and design, make the Wednesday Run and pick up Yesterday’s Tomorrows today.

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