Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow? by Brian Fies

Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?

by Brian Fies

Abrams ComicArts, New York, 2009

Hopping a train to the New York Worlds Fair of  1939 we follow Buddy and his Pop through multiple versions if the World of Tomorrow presented at the exhibition.  Of course, time is fluid in the comics so we are able to follow these two through the development of rocketry and on into space flight.

Fies uses different forms to express the energy and inventiveness of this wonderful age of discovery.  Classic comic style art, photo montage and collage add to the  excitement as Buddy and Pop enter the “Space Age” and then share the disillusionment and sadness at the end of this era of exploration.  They go one to discover that maybe we haven’t lost our love for exploration after all, maybe it has just taken a different path.

Fries feels that somewhere along the way to the 21st century we lost sight of a hopeful future.  He makes a wonderful statement in his introduction:

Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? is an appreciation of, and an argument for, an increasingly rare way of thinking, creating, working and living that has value.  There was a time when building for the future was inspirational.  Ambitious.  Romantic.  Even ennobling.  I think it can be again.

This is a fun, and very creative graphic novel, particularly if you enjoy the comics of the mid 20th century.


Filed under Graphic Novel Challenge 2010, Graphic Novels, Review

4 responses to “Whatever Happened To The World Of Tomorrow? by Brian Fies

  1. That reminds me of some of the publicity surrounding the new Star Trek movie. The actors and director were arguing that, after so much pessimistic sci-fi (i.e. all that cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic stuff), maybe it was time to “make optimism cool again.” Hey, why not? I think people want to see the future as an improvement over the present – that’s how Star Trek became such a cultural phenomenon.

    Since this is a graphic novel about 1939, I was wondering if it contained any Art Deco-style images? I love Deco.

    • I didn’t see the argument around the new Star Trek but agree. I took some students to the Museum of Flight today and they had a live video and audio hook up to the Space Shuttle. The kids loved it.

      There is very little art deco in the graphic novel but lots of different images of the futuristic buildings at the 1939 Fair.

  2. I haven’t heard of this book before! I think the author is right about it feeling like society has lost sight of a hopeful future. I can’t wait to read this.

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