The Machinist by Ryan Claytor
My head is all clogged with a miserable cold, so my reasoning may be a bit more suspect than usual here. Of course, it's possible you always think my reasoning is suspect; I just wanted to throw out a warning. This book is the story of a Detroit machinist who, after being laid off after working at a tool and die factory for 20 years, drinks and wonders about the future of the town and America as a whole. It's not preachy but it is an honest and at least mildly heartbreaking take on the state of things, and it has one of more genuinely sweet endings that you're likely to find. After this wonderful story is a 5 page afterword with more of the factual details, as Ryan moved to Michigan in the summer of '08 and has watched things go from bad to worse. It's a useful piece for people who haven't kept up with the situation, and a nice summary for those who haven't... and I don't think it worked as an afterword for this comic. Like I said, I have my doubts about being able to articulate this clearly at this point, but the story by itself was brilliant. It encapsulated the despair at the state of things while still holding a genuine love for the way things were, and it frankly didn't need an afterword. The fact that the afterword was done well and contained factual information is almost besides the point. Maybe it would have worked better as a text forward, as I get that some people really don't know what's going on in Detroit and some background probably was necessary. I think what I'm using far too many words to say here is simply this: sometimes less is more. This shouldn't be taken as a knock on the comic, and I'm hoping that's perfectly clear. Ryan's work is better each time I see a new issue. A minor tweak would have suited me just fine is all.