Flock to the Strange Utopia That is ‘Birds Of Maine H/C’ on The Wednesday Run

Do you recall walking into your local comic book store for the first time and, with wide-eyes, you’d see all the great superhero titles from major publishers like Marvel Comics and DC Comics proudly and colourfully lined up in alphabetical order on display shelves that, mind-blowingly, stretched down the length of the main comic shop wall?  

Sorry. That’s a long sentence, but it’s for a favourite memory drawn long in the past for many of us.

Do you also recall, that off to the other side of the store, there was an older wooden bookcase that resembled something you’d find in your grandparent’s basement? That bookcase was full of strange, weirdly-sized comics: some hardcover, soft softcover; some in colour, some in black and white, Xerox-ed and hand stapled. So odd. So enticing!

It was the bookcase of the indie scene, full of comics and art by local voices, pushing the envelope of what comics books could say and what comic books could be and it was an alluring, if somewhat confusing, shelf to look at.

These weren’t the comic books you knew of! No title here had a Saturday morning cartoon named after it. And no book or magazine or leaflet was by a writer or artist you had ever heard of before.

That’s changed over the decades. Those singular-vision creators have become more accomplished and more well-known in mainstream circles and all publishers – small, large, indie and mainstream – release books featuring their distinct voices.

Today sees the new release from one of those voices with the hardcover, Birds Of Maine.

Birds Of Maine written and illustrated by Michael DeForge; published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Written and illustrated by the award-winning, Toronto-based cartoonist, Michael DeForge (Ant Colony, Lose, Big Kids, Brat, Heaven No Hell), the hardcover Birds Of Maine, published by Drawn & Quarterly, is an apocalyptic tale wherein birds roam the sky and earth freely, long after the demise of mankind. They live on a new earth that harbours fruitful trees and fungi, the idea of economics is a strange fantasy and their socialist order is an enviable one. Birds yearn to become whatever their heart’s desire, although historian or librarian is a truly enviable profession. And the universal worm feeds all, after all.

But then a crash-landed human threatens everything that this feathered idyllic utopia has to offer.

Of course, like may of his works, DeForge follows in the footsteps of George Orwell, using the concept of animals and their compelling social interactions with one another, to astutely comment on our own strange existence and our relationship with and within the society we have built.  

DeForge’s world, here, is fully realized with numerous characters inhabiting fascinating, page-turning narratives. At 464-pages, Birds Of Maine is a wonderful, funny and deeply thought-provoking story about you and me, our friends and family and the relationships we have with each other and our larger world. As a reader, you won’t want to leave this book and these characters anytime soon.

Make the run to your local comic book shop and reach towards that other, captivating, bookshelf and pick up the Birds Of Maine hardcover today.   

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