Brian Wood only writes two types of comics: apocalyptic, near-future dystopias and understated vignettes of young adult life. In November, Wood released new, ongoing series in both genres: DMZ and Local.
In the first, the United States is embroiled in a second civil war and Manhattan has turned into a demilitarized zone. A photography intern improbably gets trapped in the urban wasteland and now has to fend for himself along with the other denizens of future Manhattan. Despite the sharp art by Riccardo Burchielli and Wood, something feels lacking. It’s hard to tell whether Wood is commenting on our current military-obsessed culture or just fishing for action-movie rights.
The concept behind Local (art by Ryan Kelly) is at the same time less outlandish and immediately more creative. Over the course of the series, Wood plans to set self-contained stories in 12 different American towns. The first issue, “Ten Thousand Thoughts Per Second,” takes place in Portland, Ore., and follows reoccurring character Megan McKeenan as she decides whether or not to leave her druggy boyfriend. Aside from switching locations, each successive issue will progress one year, so by the end McKeenan will have aged from 17 to 30. And much like Demo (AiT/Planet Lar), Wood’s indie hit from last year, the stories in Local promise to be slices of life in small-town America, which, as Wood proves, can be every bit as compelling as a war zone.