Reich #1 by Elijah Brubaker
Quick, a show of hands: whoâ€™s Wilhelm Reich? If you donâ€™t know (and I didnâ€™t), well, this is an excellent way to get to know the man. He lived in the early part of the last century, was a contemporary of Freud, had a lot of revolutionary ideas about sexuality and apparently ended up either killed or jailed by the American government. Hey, not to spoil it or anything, but thatâ€™s told right in the intro to the first issue, and spoilers are kind of impossible for this sort of thing with the Google around. You damned kids! This issue details Wilhelmâ€™s life-altering sexual experience, his attempts to woo a young woman, a conversation with Freud and even has the decency to end on a cliffhanger. The mini of this has apparently been floating around since 1995, so plenty of people are probably already familiar with this work, but if this is the same artwork itâ€™s been polished to a healthy sheen. The writing is crisp and leaves you wanting to know whatâ€™s happening in conversations after the panel ends, which is pretty much all you can ask for in a historical biography. An excellent, fascinating work, with all sorts of notations in the back and a list of references if you want to read up yourself. And yes, the comparisons to Chester Brownâ€™s Louis Riel are inevitable, but from this one issue it seems clear that theyâ€™re both making their own distinct mark on this underused side of independent comics.