So this is a quick review of a comic I’ve been following for about a year, now. I picked up a copy of the first book collection of Family Man from its creator, Dylan Meconis, at Webcomics Weekend last year. In one of my posts about that convention, I briefly mentioned and linked to her, but I have said nothing about the comic itself. It’s time to rectify that.
I had not read the comic before that point, though I’d read one previous comic by Meconis. Family Man is the story of Luther Levy, the son of a clockmaker in 18th century Germany (or what will become Germany, at any rate). Luther has studied theology, and aspires to get back to academia. He gets a chance to do so at an out-of-the-way university, but there are some odd things about the school and the town that houses it.
The comic is beautifully drawn, with very compelling and rich characters. It’s also a neat look at how life was in the 1760’s, especially the life of a scholarly institution (it’s interesting how much similarity there is with academic life today). The story is slow to build, and where it will eventually go is only vaguely hinted at, but there is still plenty to enjoy while we wait for more to be revealed.
There is still only one print edition available, which contains the pages up through early 2010. There have been many more pages published online since then, though not as large a number as you might think, as she took a hiatus for nearly half of this year. No telling when a second print version will come out (maybe late next year?), if you prefer your comics that way. Nevertheless, Family Man is definitely worth your time if you like intelligent storytelling in a well-researched historic setting, including the politics and social forces of the time, and where there might be something supernatural going on.