Published: August 9th, 2005
Written by: Paul Chadwick
Art by: Paul Chadwick
Dark Horse, 210 Pages
A character in this comic spoke the line, “Hasn’t the world shrunk too much to allow such romanticism?”
That’s a good question. However, what’s even more telling is that this story was originally published in 1987, years before the Internet made the world even smaller.
Point being, Concrete is a very thought provoking and introspective comic series, the bulk of which is the author putting himself into the shoes of the character, a man that has been transformed into a giant rock solid humanoid. I guess he’s similar to Marvel’s The Thing but these aren’t superhero comics and are actually more about human drama with some comedy bits worked in.
Sure, this is science fiction but most of that is just there to explain the origin of “Concrete” and to showcase how the government feels the necessity to constantly run tests on him in an effort to figure out what exactly he is and if he can be beneficial to them in some way.
All the stories collected here are very human and they feel very personal. Honestly, this was a really endearing and refreshing read.
What also makes it work so well is the art, which is pretty soothing and calming. The style helps the reader slide into the mind of the title character, sharing his sort of inner softness and innocent view of the larger world outside of his rock hard body, which acts as a true physical barrier between him and the rest of the living world.
Concrete is a hard comic to describe and frankly, I just think that people should read it. It’s unique but it’s also emotional and sweet.
This first collection was a strangely enchanting read that makes me want to pick up the other volumes. I’ve owned the first three series in their original single issue format for years. I’ve always been attracted to the art but I really missed out on not reading them sooner.
Pairs well with: other off-beat indie comics of the same era: Cerebus, Madman, Bone, etc.