..Is the future not what you expected it to be? Is it ever? Well ‘Whatever Happened To The World of Tomorrow?’ by Brian Fies looks at how innocence and optimism can be easily dashed by the world around you.
..It begins with a father and son trip to the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Filled with hope and enthusiasm for the future, the two take in every sight and marvel at how the future is predicted to be. The bond between the father and son is beautiful and earnest. They are both ready for a better time, albeit one with super-intelligent robots and houses on the Moon. Unfortunately, the future doesn’t turn out the way either of them hoped.
..As the book progresses, innocence starts to become lost, on both a personal and global scale. The cold war escalates around the two characters while the two find it more and more difficult to relate to each other. This is especially evident when the two bond over building a bomb shelter in the basement while Brian shares his childish yet accurate view of the situation.
..All is not lost, though, as the impending final Apollo mission brings the two back together briefly, creating a perfect marriage of remembering the past while looking to the future.
..The book is broken up by a series of short space tales, written and illustrated in a 1930s style, printed on different paper to give it a beautiful old school feel. These chart the adventures of Commander Cap Crater who is a traditional patriotic hero, tackling anyone who dares challenge the American way. Unfortunately, the disillusionment of the main characters seeps into this thread and new ideals are challenging the traditional way of life.
..Even the art is optimistic, especially the young Brian who is full of wonder. The World’s Fair pages are breath-taking, encapsulating the spirit of something that had never been seen before and would never be repeated.
..‘Whatever happened to the world of tomorrow’ is mostly a cathartic tale, dealing with Fies’ relationship with his father and how the future they wished for never materialised. They never give up though, the same as the rest of us, throughout history we dream of the next step and how the future will be better.
..This beautiful tale will touch you on several levels, especially if you’ve looked to the skies and dreamt of a better time.
(Released: August 2012, Publisher: Abrams ComicArts, 208 pages paperback graphic novel, Price: £9.99 (UK), ISBN: 978-141-970-4413)