Everything about Grant Morrison’s 18 Days screams that this is a nontypical experience. From the oversized format to the introduction from Deepak Chopra, you know you’re in for something a little bit…different. Of course, the legendary Morrison made his name in comics with “different,” so it’s not exactly a surprise that this book is atypical.
Based on the ancient Indian epic of Mahabharata, 18 Days is bold in scope (necessarily so; the work contains the Bhagavad Gita, Damayanti, and Rishyasringa within its story of warriors waging a fierce battle). Morrison is developing the story as an animated feature, so 18 Days is more of a companion piece. The story is here, but it’s not in sequential-art-with-dialogue-boxes format. Instead, there’s a detailed script presented here with breathtaking art from Mukesh Singh. (The art alone is a vivid treat, fairly leaping off the page with imaginative detail.)
Also included is a very extensive introduction from Morrison himself detailing his own goals and visions for the project and presenting a very thorough to the entire story. The introduction is nearly as long as the actual story itself, but it shows just how committed to his vision Morrison is.
This reimagining of the Mahabharata is classified as sci-fi, and it’s suitable for teens and older. The violence is intense in places, but mostly it’s the depth of the storytelling that gears it toward the teen-and-up audience.
The biggest complaint I have about 18 Days is I wish it had been printed on sturdier paper. With its hugely oversized format, the pages (while crisp and very nicely suitable for showcasing the artwork) bend flimsily. Since a book like this is one collectors will want to hold onto and preserve, the paper might not be up to the task.
Reviewed by John Hogan on November 23, 2010
Grant Morrison's 18 Days