1988: New York: Year Zero

New York: Year Zero (1988) #1-4 by Ricardo Barreiro and Juan Zanotto.

I thought perhaps that this was part of the 4Winds (Truman/Dixon) line of comics, but neither the cover nor the indicia mentions 4Winds.

Instead we get something that looks very much like an Argentinian or Spanish sci-fi dystopia, probably not meant to be printed in this size or form factor. It looks a bit magazinish… was it meant to be in colour? I can’t tell. And as usual with Eclipse reprints, I’m guessing we won’t get any info.

I also wondered why it was called New York: Year Zero when it’s set among the teeming jungles of Venus (!), but it soon shifts back to Earth and we get to see what a lovely place it’s become.

And then we get some info! Chuck Dixon writes an introduction and explains that this is the work of some Argentinians that were introduced to him via Jorge Zaffino, who he’d previously worked with.

And Dixon also semi-explains the existence of the befuddling Merchants of Death magazine: It sounds like it also came into being via Dixon’s contacts… perhaps…

He also announces a new line of graphic novels by various Argentinian creators, and that never happened, I think. Which is a shame, because there’s a lot of good Argentinian stuff out there.

This isn’t one of those things, though. It’s a perfectly nice read: The artwork’s the normal detailed, scratchy style, which I have nothing against. It’s told in a clear, concise way. The problem is that is just so… normal. Perhaps it’s a novelty for American audiences, but if you’ve read European anthologies in the 80s, there’s so. many. of. these. things. in there, and this has nothing in particular to recommend it.

I’m guessing the reason they picked this over the metric ton of stuff they could have published instead is that it’s a fairly short story, and that it’s set in New York.

Since Eclipse didn’t continue publishing Argentinian reprints, I’m guessing the US market wasn’t very receptive, either.

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