By Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan; Vertigo Comics
Demo: Volume Two is the continuation of Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan's series of one-shot comics about people with unusual powers or traits trying to somehow navigate ordinary life, with the supernatural aspects of the comic operating as a kind of metaphor for real life struggles. Demo: Volume Two shares this overall premise with the first volume of Demo comics, but is so much sharper (which is saying something since Demo is really good comics in the first place). The first series of Demo is almost like a comics laboratory with Brian Wood figuring out his voice for single-issue character studies and Becky Cloonan experimenting with radically different styles of artwork. Demo Vol. 2 is like the thesis resulting from all that experimentation. As a result, Demo: Volume 2 is almost its own thing: the stories are masterfully constructed and the artwork is exclusively drawn in Cloonan's mature, brilliant style. There is actually a bit of a thematic shift between volumes as well, with the stories becoming less supernatural, and more grounded in a kind of plausible unreality that adds to the veracity of every story. Demo: Volume 2 is really an excellent comic that is worth reading on its own, even before the first Demo series. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to read a beautiful comic drawn by Becky Cloonan.
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