Comic Reading Review: The Shrinking Man #1

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The Shrinking Man #1

  • Writer: Ted Adams
  • Artist: Mark Torres
  • Published by: IDW
  • Publish Date: July 29, 2015
  • Notes: Adapted from the 1956 novel by Richard Matheson


“Richard Matheson’s exploration of shrinking manhood is brought to vivid life in this comic-book adaptation! Scott Carey, reducing 1/7″ per day, faces tension big and small as his body continues to shrink away…”

Personal Thoughts (minor spoilers):

I never read or thought much of the original novel by Richard Matheson, or the concept of shrinking persons, or bothered to watch the recent Ant-Man movie. I did however, enjoy the classic movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids when I was little boy in theaters, especially the part with the “giant” fly. The spider on the cover reminded me of how terrifying and wonderful giant insects can be, or when they appear to be. So, I checked this out…

No regrets, as The Shrinking Man comic adaptation is full of the fantastic little things that make a big read worthwhile.

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I love this story so far, being that it is a comic series with parts of the novel split up. Though this is an adaptation, I feel this is a story born for the comics. Not so much for the science fiction elements of a man shrinking, but the dangers and drama presented throughout. It’s fantastic and gripping for the sequential art form of storytelling.

But not as traditional to comics is the story told in sporadic time jumps, detailing the protagonist’s transition from large to small. It’s really two stories. One being the exciting notion of coming to terms with being small, and facing new dangers and difficult obstacles. The other is the declining of his self and manhood. A vanishing of everything that made our protagonist Scott Corey the modern man, slowly shrinking. This being his life as a husband, a worker, a social figure. All slowly driving him to the sad problem of isolation. It’s slow and would be depressing it wasn’t for its presentation in art.

And it’s compelling. Especially, the coming to terms with his wife. They try, but our protagonist has troubles coming dealing with intimacy and the losing of his own power as a man. The wife tries, but we see his self-worth as a husband decline along with his size. 

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Eventually, we know the loneliness is coming for poor Scott. Much of the book we see a different side of him coming to terms with that, taking on a more survivalist attitude. He talks with himself, cracks occasional jokes, thinks himself out of difficult situations. As he lives on, he has a drive to survive. There is a wonderfulness to it all, as we see a sort new character built from the old..a mighty man from far. 

Along with that, the art truly shines. The sequences flow smoothly, and panel transitions heighten the mood of the story, whether here is action, drama, or suspense. The colors are also mood-setting.  The combined sequences becomes a story of angles and different scales as the readers adjust to new environmental perspectives and feel the situations our protagonist endures. I enjoy this.

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The end, or cliffhanger is a bit different with a bit of madness on the absurdity of the situation…all with a bit of humor. Scott has come to a point where he can perhaps deal with his unusual situation, or has he? What comes next, I am anxious as I am tempted to now read the original book.

But for now, I will just wait for that next issue..

– Orion T

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