What happens when we the people give our governments too much control? What if every piece of information we received was watched, edited and tailored towards an agenda put forth by the controlling powers of our countries? Chanel Zero examines this issue and takes a look at life of a world through a government filter. This series is the perfect mix of graphic design, social commentary and engaging story telling. Even though this was Brian Wood’s first venture into indie comics it is completely compelling and enjoyable.
The main aspects of the story focus on government agenda and propaganda, but we are given glimmers of hope within the view of some citizens. Even through oppression the stand out female lead Jennie 2.0 shows that the voice of the individual matters and stands for something, has power.
This edition is very well put together and utilizes the stylistic nature of the series perfectly. I really enjoyed each chapter. Within this book you will get the complete collection of Wood’s first series, Channel Zero, Jennie One which is a sequel to Channel Zero and a collection of material from Wood’s design books, Public Domain. Each section of this book is tied together with the previous leaving the edition feeling complete and cohesive.
One of my favorite aspects of the series was the stylistic choice in both writing and art. It’s clear the creators on all parts of this edition were making a bold graphic statement.
Wood’s writing and opinion was perfectly conveyed through his and the art of Becky Cloonan. I wish more series would leap forward and take a risk in this regard, the series stands out on its art alone going with the theme of breaking barriers and becoming a work of art rather than pages of simple illustration.
Even by today’s standards Channel Zero is a forward thinking book. Wood has found the perfect balance between graphic design and storytelling, the content of the series in both art and story are incredibly risky and bold. The series through the use art, and writing makes a statement about politics, social oppression and freedom of voice. Wood obviously made a statement with this work and broke into the medium with a bang. This series is an important view on the possibilities of where society could go if the wrong forces were given too much power and I believe Channel Zero remains as relevant now as it was in 1997.