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Concrete: Depths v.1Creators: Paul Chadwick
Editor's Pick : November 2005
Chadwick's remarkable, acclaimed Concrete series, begun in the mid-1980s, has won multiple Eisner and Harvey awards. When political speechwriter Ron Lithgow's brain was transplanted into a 1200-pound rocklike body, he gained tremendous strength, a tough protective skin, and amazingly acute eyesight. But some of life's simple pleasures, like tasting food or having sex, are denied him, and his massive body is awkward in a human-scaled world. He accepts his limitations without angst, however, sublimating his unfulfillable love for Maureen Vonnegut, a researcher assigned to study him, by collecting paintings of nudes. His new abilities inspire him to attempt amazing feats, like swimming long distances or rescuing trapped miners. But often his plans go awry, and his embarrassments are magnified by his notoriety.
Chadwick's stories and excellent art both display a great deal of realism, and his writing gives Concrete himself a mature and very thoughtful viewpoint: wry, practical, philosophical, human. This volume, the first of a new series, compiles the earliest Concrete stories (previously collected in The Complete Concrete and Concrete: Complete Short Stories (1986?1989) and adds some previously uncollected tales, including a non-Concrete autobiographical short. Older teens and adults should find this uncommonly rewarding reading.(Steve Raiteri, Greene Cty. P.L., Xenia, OH)