Journey

I’m a fan of William Messner-Loebs from way back, so I’m delighted to see that IDW is compiling his creator-owned series, which follows the adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire, an early Nineteenth Century frontiersman. Loebs weaves fact and fiction to create a manic world of misfits struggling to survive beyond the edge of civilization. In the latter third of this volume, Loebs depicts the shenanigans at the Fort Miami settlement as the Native Americans decide to fight back against the white man. This storyline was an intriguing account of historical events, but I found myself missing MacAlistaire. For me, he’s the true draw of Journey, as he encounters overwhelming situations and answers them with an ingenuity born of hardship and experience. Loebs’ black and white artwork is quirky: his elongated figures and faces express genuine anxiety or glee; and his page layouts---while not always successful---show a singular vision and creativity. This first volume collects issues #1-16 of the series, so it’s a pretty hefty tome. Unfortunately, the covers aren’t reproduced (a real pet peeve of mine with these kind of collections), and the inner page edges get a little lost in the binding. Still, I’m looking forward to vol. 2.