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.