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Evan¹ Better Than We’d Suspected

We at Fleen have more than once remarked that Island Book by Evan Dahm has a numeral 1 on the spine, tantalizing us with the prospects of further adventures with Sola. At MoCCA this year Dahm was careful with his choice of words, never confirming to me that there would be more to the story, but never outright denying it either. He may as well have adopted Beatrice’s protest: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing.

But wonder no more, for Dahm has made it clear today: there will be a sequel to Island Book, and a third volume as well:

This interview is also maybe the first overt Announcement that there will be TWO SEQUELS TO ISLAND BOOK

The interview mentioned is at The Comics Journal, with the always-erudite Sloan Leong. There’s very few people that think about the act and meaning of creation, and the context of story within the entire artistic tradition as Dahm, and he’s given a lot of room to talk about his intentions in the interview. There’s a lot of creators that make deeply philosophical comics, and of course there’s a McCloudian philosophy of comics, but I think that Dahm is the the closest thing we have to an actual philosopher working out a system of the world via comics.

More about the Island Book sequels is at Dahm’s Tumblr:

Two sequels to Island Book are in production with First Second Books. These sequels build a cohesive trilogy out of Island Book, and expand the fable storytelling of the first book into an enormous, harrowing adventure story with a focus on authoritarianism, looming apocalypse, and queer identity.

Of all of those themes, I would have only said apocalypse was a likely story arc based on reading only the first volume; I would have described the cultures of the islands we’ve seen so far in terms of small-minded prejudice (in once case, something akin to toxic masculinity), but a critique of authoritarianism? Queer identity? I can’t wait to see how those fit into what we’ve seen so far, if only because the big-publisher process of editing² is going to make Dahm refine his message to the point where it’s super effective. The kids that read Island Book don’t know how many big ideas he’s going to hit them with in 2021 and 2022.

Me? I just want to know who that guy on the left is. We saw one of Sola’s fellow islanders was be-stached in passing, but didn’t get any of his deal in volume one. Is this the same character? He looks important, or maybe thinks the sword and epaulets make him important. I want to know his deal, just because he looks so different from what we’ve seen so far. But that’s kind of Dahm’s whole approach — That character right there, we’ve never seen their like, what’s their deal? — and it always pays off.

Spam of the day:

Our International company consists of about 65 Internet projects related to crypto currencies and ICO. Now we recruit staff from around the world. Best regards, Evan Ferguson, HR Dept.

The thought of a crypto farm having an HR department absolutely tickles me.

¹ I see what I did there.

² Longtime readers may recall that Mark Siegel at :01 Books (who I believe has been working with Dahm) has described his editing process before. It’s pretty much the opposite of how Dahm freeforms his self-published work. I’m not going to say it’s something he’s in need of, but I will say that it likely makes his work far more likely to succeed in a kids demographic than he could have accomplished on his own.

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