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Zot!: The Complete Black-and-White Collection: 1987-1991 (Zot! complete b&w; issues 11-36)

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4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,085 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Long before manga took the American comics market by storm, Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, Making Comics) combined the best ideas from manga, alternative comics, and superheroes into Zot!—a frenetic and innovative exploration of comics' potential that helped set the stage for McCloud's later groundbreaking theoretical work.

Zachary T. Paleozogt lives in "the far-flung
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Paperback, 575 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by It Books
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(showing 1-30 of 1,842)
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Dan Schwent
Dec 16, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
While the first ten issues of Zot! were great with their innocence and sense of golden age superhero nostalgia, what got me interested in the first place were the b&w earth stories of the later issues. Zot gets trapped in Jenny's world and interacts with her collection of misfit friends and deals with real life issues. These issues of Zot helped pave the way for stuff like Strangers in Paradise and Ed Brubaker's Lowlife. Great stuff. Highest possible recommendation if you're into comic that ...more
Stephen Theaker
Sep 28, 2008 Stephen Theaker rated it it was amazing
The modern Superman comes in for quite a bit of criticism for being a bit of a metrosexual wimp, but the Superman of the 1950s was as much a product of his time, with his gratingly patriarchal attitude.

Zot, on the other hand, is like a Superman out of time, free of the need to appear in twenty comic books a month or to maintain a status quo. He's happy, comfortable with his powers, accepting of the things he can't change, determined to change the things he can. He has no hang-ups, but is underst
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Rick
Aug 19, 2008 Rick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Before Understanding Comics , writer/artist Scott McCloud created the adventures of Zachary T. Paleozogr (aka Zot), a teenager from an alternate Utopian Earth in the "far-flung future of 1965." Zot discovers a portal to our consensus 1980s reality and explores our not-so-perfect existence. He befriends the teen Jenny Weaver and their adventures in both universes serve as the centerpiece for these delightful stories. Initially, the tales primarily revolve around Zot, who is a super-hero in his n ...more
Tamahome
May 26, 2014 Tamahome rated it really liked it

Just got it, by the author of Understanding Comics. Wow, that's a lot of comics for 20 bucks. Black and white though.


All done. It was uneven in the beginning, but I felt my interest escalate as everything improved working my way to the end. The "director's commentary" every few chapters helped me appreciate it. I wasn't a big fan of the cheesy supervillians except for Dekker, who sees the world in what looks like modern art. Manga influenced, but the author doesn't go overboard on silent panels
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Nick
Aug 30, 2012 Nick rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, manga
I was ready to give this book a bad review, reviling Scott McCloud for ever doing anything but smart analyses of the comics medium like in Understanding Comics. Then, I got to the last third of this graphic novel. The first two thirds of Zot consist of McCloud finding himself as a writer and unfortunately that means many of the stories are nonsensical villains of the week combined with overwrought humor. Zot himself is pretty boring and the characters around him are meaningless.

Then, two thirds
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Jason Pettus
Oct 07, 2011 Jason Pettus rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, comics, postmodernism
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Long before Scott McCloud became the guru of comics deconstruction with his wildly popular trilogy of nonfiction titles on the subject (1993's Understanding Comics, 2000's Reinventing Comics and 2006's Making Comics), he was the author of the late-'80s underground hit Zot!, an important transitional title
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Jamil
Sep 19, 2008 Jamil rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
It's like reading stories you wrote in high school, slightly uncomfortable, juvenilia for sure, but every so often shot through with moments of beauty that show you knew more than you thought you did, even though you thought you knew everything and really knew nothing at all.
Dominick
This book offers a good object lesson in the possibilities and the limits associated with the comics boom of the 1980s/1990s. On the one hand, McCloud's ambition becomes increasingly clear as the series progresses and he tries to move away from the superhero tropes that initially defined it. Even early on, within those tropes, he is trying to shake things up a bit, especially in his depiction of some of the villains, who don't seem so much villains as expressions of philosophical points of view. ...more
Alan
Apr 19, 2009 Alan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Stranded time travelers and those who feel that way...
I suspect this isn't the most frequent word people use for Scott McCloud's work, but I keep coming back to thinking of Zot! as... charming. I was absolutely and undeniably charmed by the wistful, worldly Jenny and her friends on our Earth, and by her cheerful, clueless superhero boyfriend Zot (Zachary T. Paleozogt) and his Earth.

McCloud's clean black-and-white drawings, openly influenced by manga style (before that sort of thing became ubiquitous), seamlessly evoke the shining towers and soaring
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Andy Shuping
Apr 24, 2011 Andy Shuping rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
You may only be familiar with Scott McCloud's work for his critically acclaimed, Understanding Comics, and if that's all you know him for you're really missing out. Zot is a fantastic comic series and one that I wish I had read sooner.

Zot is a teenage superhero from an alternate Earth, where laser guns and transformation guns are everyday, and the world has evolved to a more idealistic place. Zot comes to our world where he meets Jenny, an everyday teenage girl who just wants to escape from our
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Alana
Apr 28, 2009 Alana rated it it was ok
This book was unexpectedly loaned to me by a friend who works in the same shopping center that I do. I've read Understanding Comics and its sequels, and was only sort of vaguely aware that Scott McCloud had done an actual comic series before writing them.

This wasn't really my thing, but I think it was largely a product of the time it came out of. There was a 'very special episode' quality to some of the more serious stories (a fact that McCloud acknowledges in his commentary), and the less serio
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Diz
Jul 11, 2015 Diz rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book is really difficult to review because there are basically two series included. The first series focuses on Zot as a superhero with super villains and dimensional travel. The second series focuses on Jenny and her friends on Earth, with Zot playing the role of a supporting character.

The first series was really difficult to read. The stories were not that interesting, the action was stiff, and the humor wasn't funny. The most difficult part for me was that the characters were inconsisten
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Jared Shurin
Apr 26, 2015 Jared Shurin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The first two thirds of Zot! are enjoyable - a fun, thoughtful superhero pastiche. McCloud's notes at the end of each issue/arc are also great, as he explains what we was about with his themes. I'm generally less fussed about autobiographical stuff, but McCloud intertwines it well, explaining how his life served as an inspiration - or, occasionally, the other way around.

The last third of Zot!, the 'Earth Stories', might be one of the best comic books I've ever read. They follow the 'ordinary' li
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Barrett
Feb 08, 2014 Barrett rated it liked it
Recommended to Barrett by: coworker
Zot! is the story of Jenny, an every day girl living in 80s(?)-era America, and her friend / boyfriend Zot, who lives in an alternate, utopian version of Earth, where he's a superhero. i guess because even utopias have the occasional villain? whatever. the two travel between each other's worlds, interact with each other's friends and families, and each finds something to love about the other's home: Jenny is in love with a world with no war, crime, poverty or unhappiness, which she sees mirrored ...more
Marsha
Feb 28, 2014 Marsha rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book a lot. I used to read some of the "Zot" comic books when I lived in San Francisco in the late 1980s to early 1990s, so it was nice to finally get a chance to read the entire series. What I liked best was the dynamics between high school student Jennifer and Zot, who is from Earth in another dimension. Zot can fly and is good looking and polite. What else can a girl want? Zot's world is futuristic, although the year is 1965. There are flying cars, and it seems like a utopia. J ...more
Trey
Dec 04, 2014 Trey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCloud's more famous works about the comics medium often overshadow his fiction, but this collection was nice. Sometimes the ideas he's expressing are a little facile, but you really get a sense that he was trying to say something in each issue. The black-and-white art is intentionally manga-ish, yet there are certain panels that do for futuristic sci-fi nostalgia what Frank Miller does for dangerous dames.

I read this book a few issues at a time, often before bed. Though I could rarely remember
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Ryan Petrie
Jan 27, 2016 Ryan Petrie rated it really liked it
Wow! It was fun reading McCloud's work from the days he was still learning the ins and outs of the medium. You can really see his skills improve as the comic progresses.

I have to say the 'earth stories' was my favorite section of the series. I really love comics that just depict life - it's much more interesting to me than action and adventure in the comic medium.

I was disappointed that some cool elements in the first half were left unexplored. I really wish Scott had gotten into the origin of
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Adan
Aug 05, 2015 Adan rated it really liked it
What an interesting look at the first work of the man who showed many of us what comics could be. Sometimes overwrought and melodramatic, it was overall pretty great.
Boone Graham
Jan 06, 2016 Boone Graham rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scott McCloud fans
Shelves: comics
I'm a long time fan of McCloud's comics about comics and I collected the early Zot! issues from my favorite comic store's back-issues section a few years back so this collection was a great find for me. McCloud's love for Manga, interdimensional travel, superheroes, nerds and, most of all, storytelling shine here. Best of all for me were his notes at the end of each story; he gives himself a hard time about his art and decision making, pats himself on the back some and reflects on his readers re ...more
Robby Barry
Apr 05, 2015 Robby Barry rated it it was amazing
This may only be because I just finished reading it and may change in a few minutes, but this collection, along with McCloud's "Understanding Comics" has my vote for favorite thing I've read...like ever. Read Understanding comics first, because then you get to see all McCloud's ideas play out before you in these pages. This comic damn near broke my heart and then put it right back together again. It conformed everything I love about art and this world and everything I hate about it. In 5 panels, ...more
Matej
Jan 22, 2015 Matej rated it really liked it
This is a collection of black and white Zot! comics from the late 80s that starts with the 11th issue that is actually a reboot of the series.
The book is divided into two volumes. The first one focuses on the utopian superhero world, and features some great ideas, but ultimately comes down to a villain of the month stories.
The second one are Earth based stories, and they are better of the two, and surprisingly more interesting.
The art is pretty good, and it gets better and more detailed with eve
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Rosa
Oct 19, 2009 Rosa rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana Welsch
Aug 28, 2011 Diana Welsch rated it it was amazing
I finally finished this! This was a gift from my beloved man friend, and I know these comics meant an awful lot to him as a child/teen. It didn't really grab me at first, but the characters and worlds really grew on me. When the story changed from Heroes/Villians to The Earth Stories, I really got sucked in. I finished the Earth Stories while holed up in my room in S. Korea in a night. Incredible.

The premise is that a normal earth girl named Jenny has this friend/crush/boyfriend named Zot, who i
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Eric Farr
Jan 11, 2014 Eric Farr rated it really liked it
Zot!, a series I just happened to stumble onto in this anthology format, is a really enjoyable and light-hearted bit of optimism. The dates I have listed for starting and finishing this book are really unfair, suggestive perhaps of a long slog of a read. In fact, though, the reading was done over maybe the equivalent of a week's time--I would pick it up on occasion, set it down, and get caught up in other books and activities. I re-read the first half and finished it up over a few days this week ...more
Rory
Aug 01, 2010 Rory rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam
May 19, 2009 Adam rated it liked it
It was a brave idea for Scott McCloud--later to be known as author of the indispensible Understanding Comics. In the mid-80s he launched Zot! as a manga-influenced, unapologetically-upbeat superhero comic book that was somehow both retro and forward-looking. And McCloud’s clean line-art and inventive page layouts are still eye grabbing.

However, as appealing as the basic concept and many of the storylines are, the series suffers from several narrative issues. Some of the scifi/superhero stories
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Eduardo Salgado
Oct 18, 2013 Eduardo Salgado rated it really liked it
In Scott McCloud's "Zot!" there are two worlds, many viewpoints, and no solutions. Jenny Weaver is a normal girl from Earth. Zachary T. Paleozogt "Zot" is a superhero from his “Earth”. When they meet both of their lives, their ways of seeing the world, and opinions on their planets, change.

Jenny doesn’t want to continue living on her planet anymore and tells Zot that she’d like to go back with him to his planet. Zot knows that all people are capable of good and tries to convince Jenny that all h
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Randy
Dec 04, 2008 Randy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Folks interested in comic book making, and the roots of the American manga movement
As much as I love Scott McCloud, this definitely not his strongest work.

Having that out of the way, I absolutely loved this book. There were some niggling issues I had with the pacing in the earlier issues (snoooooore) which contributed to the damned thing being too inconsistent to really belong under one cover, but hey it was fun. I love how intensely organized his characters are and how perfectly it conveys real problems associated with new technology that we are still sorting through. He has
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Chris
Having read Scott McCloud's later treaties on comics and their form & function I snatched up this collection of his earlier superhero comics when I saw it on the shelf at the library.

The book is divided up into two parts: Heroes & Villians, and The Earth Stories. For me, Part Two was far superior to Part One.

As Mr. McCloud would say: "comics are a medium not a genre"; and I think in Part One he was still figuring that out. As these are "The Black and White Collection" we're missing out
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Robert
Apr 25, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
This is a pretty intense collection to stuff into one volume.

Originally, this was a series of individual comics, written and drawn by Scott McCloud from 1987 to 1991, which is how I read them years ago when staying with a married couple who were both comic collectors. (I'd been collecting comics for years, but was starting to drop out of it; and then They Pulled Me Back In.)

Although the series is named after a teenage superhero ("Zot", aka Zachary T. Paleozogt), who's from a beautiful, idyllic a
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Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod) is an American cartoonist and theorist on comics as a distinct literary and artistic medium.
More about Scott McCloud...

Other Books in the Series

Zot! (7 books)
  • The Original Zot! Book 1
  • Zot! Book 1
  • Zot! Book 2
  • Zot! Book 3
  • Zot! (Zot! #1)
  • Zot! (Zot! #2)

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“I'm back, boys and girls! back from the pink padded couch palace!” 2 likes
“So this is it. This is the Great Escape.

Is it wrong for us to want this? I keep thinking, if there are so many worlds, who decided which one to put us on? No one asked us what we wanted. Don't we have the right to look for something more?

We'll be back; we know we can't stay away forever.

But just for a while...just for a while.”
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