REVIEW: ‘Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology’ From A Wave Blue World

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology

Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology is published by A Wave Blue World and is based on the band Jack The Radio’s new album “Creatures.” It was written, designed, and curated by singer/guitarist, George Hage. The anthology features cover art from Matthew Allison as well as interior art from Tommy Lee Edwards, Khoi Pham, Aaron Conley, Jorge Corona, Alexis Ziritt, Núria Tamarit, Brandom Graham, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Matthew Allison, Chris Visions, Rico Renzi, Rich Tommaso, Vlad Legostaev, Morry Hollowell, Nick Cagnetti, Justin Mason, Simon Gough, and Chris Brunner.

Jack the Radio has a unique sound that blends country and alternative rock. That aesthetic follows the anthology, and despite the large creative team feels as fluid as the music it is based on. Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology revolves around the character of Jack, a cosmic rock and roll skeleton. The catch, however, is, as stated in the introduction from Hage, that despite having a distinct look and feel, Jack’s gender and ethnicity are left open to the various artists on the anthology as well as the reader. Each of the stories is based on a song and Hage opens with a small paragraph explaining his intent behind the lyrics and the mindset he was in when he wrote it. By incorporating Jack The Radio’s lyrics, which serve as the only dialogue, the anthology reads more like a visual poem more than a traditional comic.

Each artist’s unique style breathes life into Jack the post-apocalyptic world he explores. None of the stories follow a set plot or even have a definite ending. However, the openness of it allows readers to project their own struggles, feelings, and emotions onto Jack, similar to listening to a song. Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology, in addition to stories, includes various pin-ups as well as interviews with the band. That being said, you do not need to be familiar with Jack The Radio to enjoy this anthology.

The concept of Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology is incredibly unique and to be honest I did not know how well it would work. However, reading through the stories feels cathartic. Jack’s adventures through various post-apocalyptic settings should be daunting and dismal. However, the lyrics’ overall message of fighting through even the darkest of your demons makes the book feel strangely hopeful. The book beautifully captures the feeling of loneliness.

Like many people, my mental health has taken a turn because of the seemingly never-ending quarantine and the overall state of the world. I have spent this quarantine alone and it is has been incredibly difficult. This anthology forced me to dive into those feelings of despair while also feeling the encouraging messages of the lyric, through Jack, to never lose hope. Additionally, the bite-sized stories are the perfect answer to my ADHD riddled-brain that of late has had a lot of difficulty focusing on anything.

Music is an incredibly unique tool that so many people use to cope and having another way to enjoy it, through this anthology, is special. I did not expect this anthology to make me as emotional as it did but I would like to believe it came to me at the perfect time. Obviously this anthology is a must-read for fans of Jack The Radio but I also encourage anyone with a love of art and a need to process their complicated emotions to also pick this up.

Jack the Radio’s music is available on their website, YouTube, and Spotify. Meanwhile, you can grab Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology at comic book stores and online through digital retailers.

Jack The Radio Creatures Anthology 
5

TL;DR

I did not expect this anthology to make me as emotional as it did but I would like to believe it came to me at the perfect time. Obviously this anthology is a must-read for fans of Jack The Radio but I also encourage anyone with a love of art and a need to process their complicated emotions to also pick it up.