Everyman Vol. 1: Be the People

Written by the Brothers Goldman
Art by Joe Bucco
96 pages, black and white
Published by FWDbooks

With the United States’s 2004 Presidential Election just a matter of days away, the country’s political views are at a fevered pitch. Polls are compiled and analyzed daily, and fears and conspiracy theories run hand-in-hand. It’s the perfect time for the new graphic novel Everyman Vol. 1: Be the People, which takes the country down a theoretical road from this upcoming election… and asks the question on if the real world could follow.

It’s February 2004, and Thomas Womack’s novel about ex-convicts re-entering society is everywhere in the media. What Womack doesn’t realize is that his eloquent speaking will catch the eye of a White House staffer, and make him the recipient of some very important information about November’s election. Once armed with this knowledge, though, what Womack does with it will take him down a road that he never saw himself following.

It’s easy to see where the Brothers Goldman got their inspiration for Everyman; stories about election vote tampering and corruption in the White House are pretty easy to trace back to their roots. The path they take from there is certainly an interesting one, if a little too easy in places. The question ultimately becomes which is going to stand out for you more: Womack taking the OneLove organization to nationwide recognition and prominence against all odds, or the simplicity in which it happens. It was a bit too idealized and easy for my politically cynical tastes, although I could certainly appreciate the turn of events that happens in Everyman.

Joe Bucco’s art for Everyman has just the right style for the Brothers Goldman’s story; it’s one that focuses on faces and reactions, and that’s by far its strongest feature. From scheming grins to devastated loss, any and every emotion needed for Everyman is drawn by Bucco. He’s got a good command of body language and storytelling. Occasionally the book comes across as looking a little cramped, which I can’t help but wonder if is just an artifact of not being used to drawing a book that’s shrunk down to 5×7″ dimensions. Still, even then, Everyman looks nice.

It’s got an incredibly strong and dramatic opening sequence, and its heart is certainly in the right place. For people a little more hopeful and less cynical, Everyman will probably come together just a little bit more. Even if you’re a grouch like me, though, there’s enough to like that for Everyman‘s low price point of just $6, I think readers will definitely get their money’s worth.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com

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