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

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  843 ratings  ·  100 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...more
Paperback, 575 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by It Books
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Rick
Aug 19, 2008 Rick rated it 5 of 5 stars
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 na...more
Dan Schwent
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
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...more
Tamahome

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...more
Nick
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...more
Alan
Apr 19, 2009 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Andy Shuping
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...more
Alana
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...more
Jason Pettus
(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...more
Barrett
Feb 08, 2014 Barrett rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
Jamil
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
Rosa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diana Welsch
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...more
Eric Farr
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam
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...more
Eduardo Salgado
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...more
Randy
Dec 04, 2008 Randy rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
Robert
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...more
Brenton Nichol
I'm of the majority of Scott McCloud's fans who know his name because of his non-fiction works that explore the craft of comic-creating rather than from his prior fictional work. What better way to even out that deficiency than by reading this hardcover compendium of his entire SF series Zot! This collects the entire black and white run of Zot! and includes extensive commentary from McCloud.

When I began the book, I thought I was in for a light and mildly cheesy superhero series, but over the cou...more
Matt
Fun, fun, fun. What really interests me about this collection is twofold: it's a lot of fun to look at from a more adult perspective, and it's very interesting to see how the collection fits into the "young adult fiction" mold. The book is accompanied by copious notes from the author, showing that he truly is his own worst critic. The stories themselves are fun and sometimes heart-wrenching. Everyone loves the final "Planet Earth" stories of the series, and I'm no exception-- it's amazing how we...more
Ken-ichi
I read the color Zot! collection a ways back, and I remember it being fun but inconsequential. This tome starts out in the same vein, but begins to weave in more of the quotidian drama from Jenny’s life, culminating in a full switch to our world when Zot gets stranded here, and the entire series switches to a full-on high school sitcom, eerily reminiscent of the great “Freaks & Geeks” (seriously: moody, stifled heroine? coterie of dorks? d & d? sudden and unexpected trip to the hospital?...more
Navera
I remember when it first came out and I used to hang around in my local comic book store (thanks to my sister, Hi Tooba!). I hadn't really gotten into any manga at that point so the art looked a little childish. But, I missed it. This is terrific. Some of the stories are a little soft but the art and the mastermind behind it is terrific. McCloud holds tight to the villain/virtuous superhero meme and turns it inside out. Zot is brave and optimistic and at first, a little boring. As the volumes pr...more
Daniel
I read most of these individual issues when they were first published by Eclipse and it's a testament to Scott McCloud's storytelling skills that I can still remember many of them quite clearly 25 years later, though I'll confess that I remember the "real world" issues better than the "Earth Z" ones, though they're all quite good overall.

Zot! began as a lighthearted superhero romp in the mode of early Captain Marvel (with elements of Japanese comics thrown in) and even as the series progressed,...more
Courtney Stanton
When this was offered to me, it was explained as, "the comic that gave Scott McCloud the right to author Understanding Comics." And while Zot was oh-kay, it clearly was written before McCloud has fully developed his own understanding of comics (as he himself discusses at length throughout the collection).

If you like superhero comics, all-ages comics, nerd humor, or the sort of 1990s privilege-filled earnest "awareness" of things like Youth Sex, Class Differences, Race Relations and Gay People,...more
Ankush Samant
I picked up this book with great zeal and excitement; all because I thought it was written by the master himself! The first few stories were incredible and the thoughts as laid down by Scott were remarkable. However, as the stories rolled on, my excitement turned into agony. All the stories were about Zot running around or flying around in stupidity. All the 'Earth stories' were about common day living.

The book also promised to be a amalgamation of Manga style and American style. However there...more
Bclinger
I felt like I definitely got my money's worth with this volume. It is quite interesting to watch McCloud's characters and stories mature with him, although sometimes the maturity seems forced (a fact that McCloud himself is willing to admit in his notes at the end of virtually each issue)

I thought going into it that I would be mostly enthralled by the super hero aspects of the series and that the attempts at "serious" narrative fiction would be disappointing. By the time I finished the Heroes an...more
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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...
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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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