Chuck's Critiques by Charles LePage
Keeping The World Strange: A Planetary Guide
Edited by Cody Walker
Sequart Research And Literacy Organization
Keeping The World Strange: A Planetary Guide is a worthy companion to Warren Ellis's Planetary series. Planetary was a complex story, filled with large consignments of references to other comic books, popular culture and "real world" events, so a book outlining and explaining those references is definitely welcome. The appendix which lists a suggested reading order for Planetary is worth the price of admission. My only annoyances while reading the essays were the repeated negative references to the 1980s leaders of the U.S. and U.K. For instance, Julian Darias in his essay refers to the 1980s as "a dark time politically in the U.S. under Reagan but even more so in the U.K. under Thatcher." While I understand how politics of that decade influenced comic book creators in both countries, to declare Reagan as "senile" and Thatcher as "mad," only to leave the reader on their own to research the claims, in a book designed to "not only provide analysis for this historically important series but (to) spur readers to be archaeologists of their own fiction" is an error that stands out like a firefly at night. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this collection for anyone who has read Planetary or who is a fan of Warren Ellis.