shortly about - Attack on Titan ANTHOLOGY
Hard cover. Exclusive look. Every page gloss in full color. Classic western comics. And my first impression - I thought that it’ll be thicker.
At the beginning there was Attack on Avengers (Marvel) - the one-shot official crossover in 2014. The first time when creatures from Attack on Titan appeared in a western comic.
Attack on Titan Anthology was always something more than a typical crossover.
Its authors/illustrators - daily creators of comics for such a famous publishers like Marvel or DC Comics - handled their collaborative compilation with respect to the original manga and its author, adhering to his supervision and suggestions. They were visibly fascinated by the AoT universe. One of them, Scott Snyder (DC Batman) said - “I’ve loved Attack on Titan from the very beginning – there’s something about it’s elegant simplicity, primal fears.”. /quote source/
It happened during the panel The Biggest Attack on Titan Manga Announcement Ever hosted by Kodansha Comics at the New York Comic Con in October 2015 where everything got started, where the obvious announcement was revealed.
Hajime Isayama himself created the ‘Titans’ plot for that western comicbook what - according to his editor’s words at the intro to the Anthology - was the dream of the Shingeki no Kyojin manga author.
In October 2015 (the same time as the mentioned panel at the NYCC took a place) Hajime Isayama gave an interview for BBC where he spoke about his unconventional post-apo vision and violent universe in which heroes not always win.
To be honest, I picked my potential favorites by following the project creation and supported their concept whenever it was possible.
I was waiting for Live and Let Die by Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma - because of the Survey Corps short appearance, the classic Survey story, because of his comic style and because of the colors he used. I wasn’t disappointed.
Talking about good plot story, I found another one - Skies Above by Rhianna Pratchett and Ben Applegate, illustrated by Jorge Corona. Steampunk (or maybe victorian) nostalgic story about two women who tried to escape together from the wall-world they lived in and whose life path went together with the Erwin Smith father’s fate as a final backstory. Tragic magic fusion, science and dream.
From the first sight I liked Faith Erin Hicks comic style - for her character’s design, it was right after I saw the cover projects by this artist. Her The Titan’s Laugh - lighter than the rest of the stories - punch line is accurate and perfect Mikasa or Levi behaving’s depiction. I really hope to see her Attack on Titan AU or spin-off comic someday, maybe someone can make it happen.
Thinking about serious stories, the short comic Memory Maze by Tomer and Asaf Hanuka can touch deeply. I couldn’t convince myself to this comic after the first-shot prototypes were shown. A strange looking titan disgusted me, it didn’t click somehow and shadowed me any positive aspects of view. Now I’m changing my mind, that titan was nothing important, something other important makes you think later.
And finally, one part (or rather parts, because everything is splited into four parts scattered randomly throught the whole book) stole my heart immediately - The Illustrated Guide to the Glorious Walled Cities - story by Genevieve Valentine with wonderful historical-fiction-stylized art by David Lopez. It is my shining AoT Anthology discovery - classic vintage steampunk illustrations merged with magical idea for a diary (or even album magazine) written by a traveler around the Walls districts.
She wrote about it on her blog:
The closeness to canon comes and goes – there’s such a great range of tones in the anthology; my piece is firmly in the world of the stories. Quite literally: One of the things that fascinated me most about the series is the depth and detail of the world, and the scale of devastation in the wake of the Titans. A century of peace is enough time to develop a status quo. And given increasing economic stability and social growth, what do you get? Tourism.
“The Illustrated Guide to the Glorious Walled Cities” is a collection of articles from Mithras Quarterly, by an intrepid journalist named Hilde Gartner who sets out to make a map for everyone who might wish to see the Walled Cities for themselves. (Then Things Happen, of course.)
(It's Victorian-ish magazine travelogues, and we went all out: ads, watercolor sketches, illuminated borders, Nellie Bly bangs, the works.)— Genevieve Valentine (@GLValentine) October 18, 2016
Attack on Titan Anthology is simple but interesting, exclusive adventure for every SnK manga fan.
The final list of the authors of all the alternative stories in the alternative universes included in AoT Anthology is indeed impressive, I counted to circa 30 more and less famous western artists. I knew that it’s going to achieve 250 pages because it was annouced as well. Yet I remain with the same feeling - Maybe it is enough but it could be a little bit more. A bit.