In the meantime, enjoy what Erin has to say about this groundbreaking graphic novel series.
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Gracefully frenetic. The phrase bounced around my mind while reading, pausing, and re-reading the cells of Proctor, Harrell, and Yoshii’s Nuclear Power 2, the second of the six issue alternative history series. It is gracefully frenetic in the movement of the woven theme, tone, words, plot, like a whirlpool of tension, deadly serious, horrifically beautiful, unflinching. It is gracefully frenetic in providing the reader with a mere three scenes, packed to the seams with content, anguish, and action, masterfully. But it’s the art, Yoshii’s brilliant hand at work, that serves as the tie that binds all the chaos into cell after cell of fluid, gracefully frenetic perfection.
The story is incredible, there is no diminishing of the craft provided by Proctor and Harrel. It grips and rends with the painful mirror of our actual reflection as a society. The suffering as a tax paid to the security of the totalitarian, the hobbled autonomy of the individual, the poisons in class, status, and power: truly these are insurmountable thematic mountains that both Proctor and Harrel appear to scale with ease. But the art – there is something rare and special in the art of Nuclear Power 2.
Three aforementioned scenes, zero pause in the motion, no harbor from the characters’ trauma, and this art, waving like a hand over an orchestra, with songs in every speed blur, every wide eye, the bullet through the body, it is something magical to behold. The art absolutely shines in a story so powerful it almost has to be as perfect as it is to give the words and beats their due.
The final few pages gives us the last act of the second issue. The overall scene, although soaked in the perpetual pressure of all that came before, shifts to a cool greenish-emerald scale, breaking from the ruby and sepia surrounding the American Union’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. A key character is chained to a radiator while speaking (to what the government calls) A Variant, somewhere, in what was once likely Maryland. This interaction is haunting. The whole of it haunts.
In the previous review I made a statement that absolutely deserves repeating. These characters created by Proctor and Harrel are so nakedly, basically, truthfully human – that they are us. They are who we are and so the reader gets to come to the issues with an understanding of inflection, attitude, ingrained comprehension to such a level that there is a space within the narrative of the tale for a reader to stand, occupy, and look out from the inside. It is a powerful tool, that level of realism. To chime through the chords of residual generational trauma and yet still provide the reader with a comfort of having been seen and represented, if even accidentally, it honors those touched by the notice. These characters are who we are, gracefully frenetic to the nuclear core.
Nuclear Power is a 6-issue series published by Fanbase Press. Written by Desirée Proctor & Erica Harrell (Ultra Violet, Deadshot: Mercy, 2017 DC Comics New Talent Workshop) and illustrated by Lynne Yoshii (DC’s Gotham Garage, 2017 DC Comics New Talent Workshop).
NUCLEAR POWER #2
Writers: Desirée Proctor & Erica Harrell (Deadshot: Mercy, 2017 DC Comics New Talent Workshop)
Artist: Lynne Yoshii (DC’s Gotham Garage, 2017 DC Comics New Talent Workshop)
Publisher: Fanbase Press
$0.99 | 23 pages | Fanbase Press | May 19, 2021
For Mature Readers | Available on Hoopla & ComiXology
October of 1962. The Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union is at its peak when the unthinkable happens: nuclear war. Sixty years later, the remaining 13 states rose from the ashes to form the American Union, governed by the authoritarian Joint Chiefs of Staff and protected by a border wall to keep out nuclear radiation . . . and the individuals who were enhanced by it. Nuclear Power is a darkly poignant alternate history of the Cuban Missile Crisis that posits the lengths to which a government will go to protect (or deceive) its citizens. When the Joint Chiefs’ dark secrets are revealed, will survivors on both sides of the wall join forces to fight for their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or will their differences forever divide them?
“The story is inspired by our mothers’ experience trying to Americanize after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Cubans were attacked in this country for being the ‘enemy.’ We hope that people take away the idea that we shouldn’t fear others for being different; that we shouldn’t automatically try to destroy what we don’t understand.”
– Nuclear Power creators Desirée Proctor & Erica Harrell
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About Fanbase Press
Fanbase Press celebrates fandoms and creates new ones! As an award-winning comic book publisher and geek culture website, Fanbase Press produces new and distinctive works, as well as daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts, that span the pop culture spectrum and give voice to the themes, ideals, and people that make geekdom so exceptional.
Fanbase Press believes that #StoriesMatter. Acknowledging the importance of stories and the impact of storytelling is at the core of the organization. Universal communication through stories allows us to examine the essentials of human existence, to understand ourselves better and to grow and/or heal, to pass on important values, knowledge, and lessons to the next generation, and to connect with one another through empathy and compassion. Fanbase Press holds a commitment to looking beyond the simple entertainment factor of pop culture storytelling in order to find the value that each story offers to us as individuals, our world, and/or the human condition.
The company was founded in 2010 (originally under the name Fanboy Comics) by Barbra and Bryant Dillon and Sam Rhodes and rebranded to Fanbase Press in May 2016.
Fanbase Press’ graphic novels, including the 2018 Eisner Award-nominated Quince, the 2020 IPPY Award-winning Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition hardcover, the 2019 IPPY Award-winning A Geek’s Guide to Cross-Stitch: Journeys in Space, the 2014 Bram Stoker Award-nominated Fearworms: Selected Poems, The Sequels, The Margins, The Gamma Gals, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, and Penguins vs. Possums, are available online at www.fanbasepress.com.