Read Demo: The Collection by Brian Wood Becky Cloonan Online

demo-the-collection

Twelve stories of conflicted teens grappling with love, loss, and the joy of finding your own way in life. The Eisner-nominated and critically-acclaimed series of self-contained short stories by writer Brian Wood and artist Becky Cloonan is finally collected together into this complete, bookshelf format volume....

Title : Demo: The Collection
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781932051421
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Demo: The Collection Reviews

  • Gavin
    2019-03-15 08:14

    Did you like DMZ or Northlanders? This ain't either one of those, and you should put this book down and walk away.This should be called Slit your Wrists: A Teenage Guide to how cool it is to kill yourself.These collection of 12 stories are mostly depressing, very downer, and if this was the first Brian Wood stuff I'd read, I'd never read another word.I understand some of it is supposed to be about defining moments from adolescence, and how moments shape people, but honestly? Every one of these stories is about some depressed fucking person who thinks they're Holden Caulfield.The art is interesting from Becky Cloonan, and it covers a wide range, and the B&W adds to the downer tone.Don't read this if you're having a bad day, or if you have a teenager and you worry about their mental state.I don't think a single story had anyone who lived an average existence or had a decent family. There are actually kids like that. Shocking, it may be. I don't know who Brian Wood thought he was, but he's pretty fucking pretentious here.Everyone in these books are miserable, and yes, people can relate to the teen angst or early adulthood angst, but most of these characters are immature and on the road to even worse depression and substance abuse (those that aren't dead already). The biggest rays of sunshine are for the couple that breaks up "amicably" after being super shitty to each other in flashbacks, or the kids who run away to NYC together, or the Asian kid who gets married to a great girl in spite of his Carrie-like rage as a child.I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. However, if I were 17 or super angsty, I'm sure this would be right up my alley and lead me to enjoy the beautiful nature of sadness. However, I'm a grown up, and I don't think living life depressed or miserable is some badge of honour anymore; it's fucking pathetic. I'm not saying depression isn't a major deal, I'm saying it IS a major deal, and this book is about the least helpful thing someone could read if they were.This is Brian Wood on par with his X-Woman work, except worse.

  • Keith
    2019-03-05 06:17

    So the problem with attempting to write a review of this book is that I really, strongly, actively dislike Brian Wood -- as a writer, as a professional, as a person. I find his comics to be one-note, angsty, dour, and narratively flat -- they're serious without being especially thoughtful, gloomy without being particularly vulnerable or incisive. I feel like Brian Wood has the internet open on one side of his desk and he's reading news articles about bad shit to get himself amped, and on the other side he has journals of ideas leftover from highschool, and that's what you get from him: shrill, vague, condescending mansplainy screeds about life and shit or whatever. Brian Wood is the guy who's too jaded to be happy about the fact that he's written frigging Star Wars, who decided he was the just the straight-white-male for the job to write an all-girl X-Men comic, and whose creator-owned books seem designed to just kind of make you feel bad about not reading as many news articles on the internet as he does. Brian Wood is a guilt processor; he's channeling the burden of his privilege into comics designed mostly to make himself feel superior, without actually thinking too hard on what the hell he's talking about, on what makes good stories, on what makes believable characters and relatable worlds.His comics are neither good at being fun nor at being smart, and I feel like you gotta be one of the two, fireals.I read Demo so people would stop telling me to read Demo. I'm giving it two stars. There were times when Wood captured pretty believable teen dialogue, but none of the stories had enough of a point for that to pay off. It's like he went and read Ghost World and Sleepwalk and Other Stories, and figured out how to duplicate their plot structures but not their atmospheres. It's like he suddenly had this idea that superhero origin stories are really about the difficulty and isolation of growing up, and it didn't occur to him that everyone KNOWS that already because everyone who reads comics is alive, and then he took this incredibly obvious idea and decided to make sad superhero stories in which flatly-rendered characters do little-to-nothing in thinly-constructed worlds, and also a lot of bad monologues about how teenagers and twentysomethings suck at relationships, because duh. Also the last chapter is written in free-verse poetry and is occasionally in French. Because it's deep and shit, okay? Because OMG I CAN'T EVEN BRIAN WOOD, YOU ARE A FRIGGING ADULT DUDE WHAT THE HELL.But see? This isn't fair. Because I like sad superhero stories, and plotless superhero stories, and I get a kick out of grand, sweeping creative failures. So this isn't fair, really, because the main point is that I just don't like Brian Wood.I also don't particularly groove on Becky Cloonan, but that's just because every cool thing I've seen her draw and thought, "Oh, that's why people dig her!" has been proven to be a direct swipe from someone else's style. I don't know if Demo is either the most egregious example of this, or if she's purposely working with homage -- all I know is that when JH Williams draws in someone else's style, that person is listed in the credits right alongside him, and nowhere here did I see any mention of Paul Pope, Bryan Lee O'Malley, or the grab bag of manga artists that show up in these pages.But I don't know much about Becky Cloonan, and she seems like a person that other comics people like, so I'm willing to be wrong in my conception of her abilities. Brian Wood's scumminess is a little better-documented, and while most people let that exist separately from his body of work, I just sort of can't. Not for someone whose ethics are so heavily inscribed into what he writes, and then flagrantly disregarded in real life.But none of that is the point, really. The point is that I didn't enjoy this book, but it doesn't mean you won't. If you want it, you can take my copy. I don't plan on reading it again.

  • Dan Grible
    2019-03-22 08:10

    Underneath an umbrella of the titular duo-nym, Demo, lies twelve semi-tied together mini-stories tempered with edginess and saturated in hopelessly worthless youthful idealism and all the failures of days misspent and time killed. The veneers are are the same, black and white gloss over innumerable representations of explicitly inspired Anime/Manga styled art that ranges in a thin band within the already established illustrated continuum. Sometimes the art is detailed. Sometimes it is starkly minimal. Irregardless, all narratives were only able to grow as far as their puerily bounded bases would allow. Youth is there and so are some subtle references toward the beloved X-Men canon. However, for some reason the themes of latent/repressed extra-human powers only apply to about half the stories. Other than similar underage-based motifs, not much unites the work beyond a shared author and illustrator who forged the work. Cute idealism this. Teenage heartbreak that. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The well known tropes are there but there is little to show for it.Most of the endings are unsatisfying and all the characters are forgettable. Even when the art is enjoyable, vague character development and equally paper-thin plots allow little room for any involvement nor internal growth. Demo could have gained greatly from a shaving of stories and a heaping helping of suspense.Initially I picked this comic out of my local library because the cover resembled another work I thoroughly enjoyed, Guy Delisle's Shenzhen. Where the Asian story set in a South Eastern Chinese metropolis, that I have worked in was enjoyable as it was relatable to my own experiences, Demo forged no connections with my recollections of youth - blissful or otherwise.No thumbs here folks, this one goes straight into the fireplace.

  • Christopher
    2019-03-17 06:56

    It's "Small Press Comics that You Probably Didn't Know Existed Day!" SPCtYPDKED for short.Brilliant. Sam's review has slightly more words if you need them.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-10 02:03

    This stark, black and white collection of graphic vignettes, illustrates young people making hard decisions. Some have extraordinary powers, and some are just facing extraordinary challenges. In one, a young girl is working at a gas station. She doesn't speak by choice. She doesn't speak because she can make people do what ever she says. One day she got mad at her mother and now her mother is catatonic. This isn't a collection of superheroes who marvel at their powers. This is a collection of young people examining the consequences of their actions. Each story develops a psychological profile of a person dealing with major topics like death, anger, leaving a lover, and career paths.

  • Sam Quixote
    2019-03-19 01:58

    Demo is a collection of 12 short stories featuring young people with difficult lives in the midst of change. Initially the stories feel like kids with superpowers stories that wouldn’t be amiss in a Marvel or DC book but, over time, the stories shift from teens to young adults in their twenties minus the superpowers and focused more on their relationships. The first couple of stories feature teen girls with Carrie-esque psychic powers that trigger when stress is applied and the next story is about a teen girl finding out she can’t die, and so on. These are all pretty on-the-nose in terms of their meaning - they have superpowers, end of. Brian Wood does mix it up in later stories though so you get a story about a young guy enlisting and being sent to Iraq but refusing to use his super-accurate shooting to kill people and the consequences of that upon his own life. And then a strange, almost poetic story about a young man reminiscing about a breakup with a girl who may or may not have killed herself.Each of these stories are about certain moments in a person’s life which go on to define their identity and later life, for better or worse. Each issue captures perfectly enough of the characters’ lives to present you with a window into another existence and every story here gives you something to think about, something to care about. There really isn’t a single story in this book that feels rushed, unimaginative, or dull - Wood has mastered the short form of comics to present the reader with 12 fascinating people and 12 clever, moving stories. The stories wouldn’t be nearly as good if the artist didn’t match the talented writer, and artist Becky Cloonan, who draws each of the stories in a different style, really steps up in this collection. Sometimes her stuff looks manga-esque, sometimes she uses heavy shadows and light, some stories have lots of shading, some stories are told in large boxes, some with wide panels, some with lots of small panels making up a page - she has a lot of tricks in her artist’s bag and she uses them all to suit the varied stories Wood is telling. Cloonan’s art is always gorgeous, just take a look at her more recent stuff with Wood on Conan the Barbarian or her work with Scott Snyder on Batman to see how much of a range she possesses. Demo is a book packed with experience - of love, heartbreak, hate, misery, frustration, pain, and happiness. Each story transports you somewhere new and Wood keeps the twists and nuance coming so you’re never bored nor feel you’re reading something predictable and he’s joined with a super-talented artist to create a masterful and rewarding reading experience. I’ve held back on the details of this book because you should experience it firsthand to get the full impact of some of the stories - go ahead, read this excellent title. You might not like them all but there will be one or two that’ll stay with you for a long time.

  • Garrett
    2019-03-09 00:02

    A really solid collection of short stories. I can't wait to read more stuff from this author

  • Peter Derk
    2019-03-14 05:05

    For those who haven't read this yet, the idea is that every issue was a short story about a young person with a different "power."I say "power" instead of power or Power! because I guess some of these things would not really be qualified as powers. Eating human flesh? I mean, I guess it depends on the chef. You know that part in the Hannibal movie where he's just cooking up a piece of that dude's brain? I feel like brain meat would be rubbery. Not the most delicious part of a person. So eating that, that's a sort of power, I guess.The thing wasn't up my alley because, frankly, I think I'm kind of over origin stories. I thought it was because I ended up reading the same origins so many times, and one of my fantasies is to have an amnesia that wipes only my knowledge of comics as it would allow me to enjoy them with a fresh eye. But it turns out, origin stories are just a little boring to me. Usually they're a necessary evil to get to the meat of the story, but Demo is kind of all origin.It's not a bad idea, but I feel like comic book fans have seen about half of this whether it be Rising Stars or Rising Starts the TV Series aka Heroes.So instead of talking more about how origins bore me, which is sort of MY origin and therefore also boring, I figured I'd write how I would handle a few of these situations differently if I were involved in them.Issue 1 summary: A guy and a girl are running away. She is on mystery meds, and when she gets off them you get the idea some bad shit is going to happen.Uh, baby, listen. I know you think that the meds you take to not make you crazy are really only because people are scared of your superpowers. But maybe you think that because you're crazy, which is why you are taking the meds. Now, I'm not calling you a liar. Sweetness, maybe you ARE the only person who has ever been prescribed medicines to somehow dampen superpowers for some reason. And I want to encourage you to explore that idea, do some soul-searching, while I see other people, preferably who are either not insane and on meds or having superpowers that could blow up someone's head. Either way.Issue 2 summary: A girl can make anyone do anything she says. Or, to shorten:Issue 2 summary: Preacher.Okay, this is pretty serious. You seem sincere about being a normal kid, doing the right thing. So I can see why never saying a thing is appealing. But I think we can both see how someone pushes your buttons, and you hold it in so long that instead of saying something harmless like, I don't know, "Please leave immediately and never talk to me again" you end up telling them to put a grenade in their own mouth and pull the pin. I feel like there's room for compromise here.Issue 3 summary: A (step)brother and sister come together at their father's funeral, where the brother points out that their family line is immortal. Also, creepy incestuous vibes run amok.Look, if you want to bang your step brother, just do it. The more you debate it in your head, the creepier it is. The more you think about it, the harder it is to get drunk and "accidentally" do it. Five or six times.Issue 8 summary: A guy finds his dead girlfriend and listens to a tape she made him, which is full of instructions and revelations.Um, sorry, but a tape that doesn't include Phil Collins' "Against All Odds"? Even once? Pass.Issue 12 summary: Some kind of poem thing(?)[angrily flipping back to cover to check price after finishing the issue within 40 seconds of reading]

  • Sheila
    2019-03-16 04:08

    This series of 12 stories of young people who are standing at the crossroads of some life-altering decision they have to make is somewhat uneven, but the stories I liked were really good. They leave the reader with a sense of shock. Some of the stories are fantastical and some real.

  • Ryan
    2019-03-08 03:05

    Some truly intense stories, made that much rougher by the haphazard artwork...but happily there's some light at the end of this very dark night. Gonna take a good long break before volume two, but I'll be going forward for sure

  • Sara
    2019-03-19 03:15

    oh good more poorly remembered rehashes of Twilight Zone episodes! Nope nope nopety nope!Didn't finish.

  • Raina
    2019-03-21 00:05

    Part of the growing trend of putting superheroes into an everyday context (see also Powers, Runaways, "Heroes" on TV...). Standouts for me were2. Emmy (gas station attendant) and 5. Girl You Want (what you see is what I am)Some really beautiful, manga-influenced drawing here. Becky Cloonan's style is remarkably similar to Ryan Kelly's. And so, this feels very much like Local (a book I adored almost completely). It has the same short story style, and the tone is very much the same. Dark and ominous and angsty. In a beautiful way.I didn't love it quite as much as I wanted to, but I did enjoy watching the stories unfold and trying to predict what the superpower might be. Cloonan varies her style a bit (within a range), and though Wood calls this out as a good thing in his note afterword, but I found this to weaken the look of the book. Every story used different thicknesses of pens and my eyes had to readjust, so that the stories seemed to occur in different worlds. It's a minor issue, but I suspect it contributed to my not getting totally sucked in.Solid indie comic that deserves a place in every graphic novel collection.

  • Chris
    2019-03-22 00:52

    For a while, I was not sure about this book. The stories, while interesting, seemed to vanish without figuring out how to be awesome. Young people faced decisions, yes, and sometimes they had powers of some kind. Generally very large powers--one girl could make people do what she said, another could make things go boom. One girl became whatever anyone wanted her to be. This was cool, and horrifying, and it was clever how she latched onto the one girl who saw her as she was. As she, the girl who hated being everyone's dream and no one's reality, found herself falling in love with her own dream of this girl. But it didn't move me beyond a feeling of, yes, that was good how you did that.And then, near the end, something happened. The powers became more subtle. They were quiet powers: of lingering, of hope, of remembering everything someone ever said to you. "If I told you I would love you forever, you would never, ever forget?" "Never, ever." The stories around these powers became more subtle as well. They became less about simple decisions, or revelations, and more about impossible choices and hopeful leaps into nowhere. They won me over.It's kind of wonderful to watch Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan (the writer and artist/sometimes writer) as they figure out what they're doing. And so I've given it four stars. Though, really, something more like three and a half would be more accurate. Silly goodreads and their whole number bias. It's prejudice is what it is. We should have a march.

  • elissa
    2019-02-21 03:56

    I think I'm slightly picky lately, for some reason, but this is only 3 1/2 stars for me. There were a few of the vignettes that I really loved, and the rest were good, but it was slightly uneven to me. I laughed out loud, not in a bad way, but in an unexpected way, at the story where the girl ends up with a chunk of wood sticking out of her. The first story is memorable, and my husband reminded me of the one with the "Slacker Code" when I was asking him which stories stuck in his mind. That one was also pretty funny. Maybe I'm missing some of the satire aspect or something. I loved the last piece. That one definitely hit home with me, because it specifically says that the character is 28 and it's set in Brooklyn. I was 28 when I met my husband at a party in Brooklyn, and we spent time on the roof of the building the night that we met. I absolutely love the end of this! I love the superhuman, outsider aspect of all of the stories, and maybe I'll remember them better than I'm expecting to.

  • Lucy
    2019-02-25 23:57

    I first heard of Demo in a class I took on graphic novels (isn’t college awesome?). It wasn’t required reading, but one of the final presentation groups focused on it, and I’ve been eager to read it ever since. I’m a sucker for realistic portrayals of life with super powers, but what really attracted me visually is that each story has a separate art style, despite all being illustrated by the same artist.Each of the stories is touching, in some cases heart-wrenching, and feels very true to life (even when cars are exploding and characters are literally changing their shape). Even in such short snippets, you really get a feel for the individual characters. My only regret is that we don’t get to follow them for more chapters.The art is, simply, stunning. Each chapter has a different style to it, and yet they still all manage to feel connected. The overall style is very manga-inspired, but the artist really runs with the style and makes it her own. Each page is a pleasure.

  • Cathy
    2019-03-16 00:59

    Some time ago I’ve read “Local” from Brian Wood. I really enjoyed it, so I was disappointed with this book. “Demo” is a short stories collection of miserable teens. Some of them are in love, others are trying to find a way of life and most of them have some kind of power. I think the author was trying to give some profound meaning to all this, but he kind of missed the point. I didn’t felt connected to any particular character. I actually found them quite superficial. The plot was a mix of overdramatic and clichés, with unexpected turn of events that don’t really add to the plot. I don’t know… Maybe I couldn’t grasp the stories message.Even the art wasn’t my type. I get the white and black mood, but I’m not a fan of the illustration here. So it was just ok. It didn’t measure up to “Local”.

  • Melissa
    2019-03-13 01:12

    Eh, I don't know about this one. Too many stories, too many abrupt ends. Nothing felt finished. And although it purports to be about conflicted teens, who are these people? When I was a teen, I didn't live with some guy or have a job that required a suit & meeting attendence or throw a desk down a flight of stairs & then go home to my live-in girlfriend and tell her to beat it. I was still living with my parents. Perhaps the teen misnomer is why it's kept in the YA section, but surely all the boobs mean it should go in with adult graphic novels?

  • Jenny
    2019-03-08 02:15

    The summary of this book wasn't even close to what I read. It was a lot darker than what I expected (downright depressing at times) and the few cute/lighter issues were not enough to lift the mood above the hard-to-read line. I was expecting an X-Men kind of vibe, which this anthology couldn't have been further from. It wasn't bad, but definitely wouldn't qualify as "good" to me either

  • Nick Kives
    2019-03-14 07:50

    12 different stories, and pretty much each one starts of and just seems like a normal story, then all of a sudden something will be revealed about the main character. I didn't know much about this, just that I really like the writer, and so far Brian Wood hasn't disappointed me.

  • Will
    2019-03-20 07:12

    Maybe I am not young, but I found these "coming of age only with superpowers" to be... well, I thought so many of these people are idiots. Not "oh, they're children, they're so young and so fresh" -- they're just idiots. Then again, I didn't think much of Romeo and Juliet either.

  • Anina
    2019-03-15 04:13

    best graphic novel of the year. i love this.

  • Jamey Boelhower
    2019-03-22 05:08

    The twelve stories are all unique in their visuals and story lines. One thing I liked for each story was how each story left you wondering what happened after the story ended.

  • Julie lit pour les autres
    2019-03-15 23:58

    J'ai essayé. Je l'ai lâché, je l'ai recommencé. Rien à faire. Je ne suis pas arrivée à m'attacher aux personnages, ces 12 jeunes qui, l'un après l'autre, découvrent une autre dimension de leur personnalité lors d'un moment dramatique de leur vie. C'était ma première lecture de Wood, et j'avoue ne pas être trop tentée de poursuivre mon exploration de son œuvre. C'est comme s'il manquait à la narration une dimension pour faire respirer les personnages. Notons les illustrations en noir et blanc, parfois évocatrices du manga, parfois expressionnistes. Un peu mince à mon goût, mais l'esprit emo qui imprègne l'ensemble des histoires pourrait plaire aux lecteurs.trices qui apprécient le genre.

  • Tanvir Muntasim
    2019-03-02 01:00

    Teen angst cranked up to the fullest. A few interesting stories, but not enough to justify reading the whole book. Liked the art style, but the dialogues were too heavy handed and the stories too bleak and one note for enjoyment.

  • Roland Cooper
    2019-02-20 00:59

    Really torn between three and four stars. It's an anthology of short stories, so there's, of course, some hit and miss. Overall very solid, with a handful of real heartbreakers.

  • Nell
    2019-02-23 05:15

    eh, this wasn't as good as I remember it being. Love Becky Cloonan's art but a lot of the stories just kinda fell flat.

  • SA
    2019-02-27 05:55

    For all that this is tonally and emotionally covering well-weathered ground for the aughties indie male graphic novelist, there is still much to engage with and absorb from Wood's early effort.

  • Sara
    2019-03-11 04:03

    I've read this graphic novel twice now. Short stories about humans who have strange powers. Like...a less comic-y version of the beginnings of X-men. I love it. I'd recommend it to anyone.

  • M
    2019-03-05 02:54

    Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan collaborate to create a phenomenal graphic novel with the collection Demo. The twelve stories of people with unique "gifts" feels like a modern version of X-Men - all the tragedy that comes from being different but without the fancy costuming. As a result, Demo is all the better for it, grounding its characters in real life and making for a fantastic read. Here's a breif rundown of the 12 chapters:1/NYC: Marie is on medication to control her explosive gift. Leaving with her boyfriend for New York, she is able to withstand the withdrawl symptoms and move on to a better life.2/Emmy: A gas station attendant, Emmy acts mute due to her ability to make anyone do exactly what she says. Having caused her mother's comatose state, things get worse when a pushy customer is told to drop dead.3/Bad Blood: Samantha is meeting her half-brother Sean for their father's funeral. As they reconnect, discussing the family problems and shattered homes, Sean drives them straight into a tree. As it turns out, Sam, Sean, her father, and the rest of the family are immortal.4/Stand Strong: Jimmy wants to work hard for a better life, but his girlfriend and his pals are looking to grab one last score from their employer. Remembering that they left him holding the bag last time out, Jimmy knows they just want him for his strength. Purposely botching the getaway, Jimmy abandons his cohorts, dumps his snide girlfriend, and joins his family for a drink.5/Girl You Want: Kate wants to be loved for who she is. Sadly, Kate appears they way others want to see her - physically changing according to what other people perceive or desire. Falling for a barista who actually sees her true face, Kate discovers that she too is guilty of seeing only what she wants to see.6/What You Wish For: Ken has just gotten married, and is taking one last trek to his old neighborhood. Growing up as an Asian-American in a Caucasian neighborhood, Ken finally unleashes his anger when his puppy is killed. Able to reanimate dead animals, he uses his powers as any cild would - and still lives with the guilt over what he has done.7/One Shot, Don't Miss: John Hatfield does not miss. Enlisting for college money, he is sent overseas and prepped as a checkpoint sniper. When he chooses to shoot out a tire rather than kill the driver during his first mission, John returns home to an uncertain future.8/Mixtape: Upon waking, Nick finds his girlfriend dead on the floor with a cassette in her hand. Playing the tape, Jess is able to interact with him over the course of the day. As they use the time to talk, Nick must come to grips with Jess's departure.9/Breaking Up: Angie and Gabe have reached the end of their relationship. Unfortunately for Gabe, he has a special photographic memory - one that allows him to remember every event. As they talk, Gabe faces the ups and downs of their time together.10:/Damaged: Tommy is a young exec who has it all - except for happiness. Meeting a girl who claims to know everything about him, Tommy begins to open up and start to change his ways. Following her home, and discovering her elaborate spy set-up, Tommy chases her into the street with disastrous results.11/Midnight to Six: Jace, Jill, and Brad are bonafide slackers, ever since school. Working together at a minimart, the group begins to splinter with the revelation that Brad wants to apply for a technical school.12/Mon Dernier Jour Avec Toi: A lyrical story that sees a couple spend a final night together, before leaping from the rooftops.Fantastic collection.

  • Javier Alaniz
    2019-02-19 07:04

    DemoBrian Wood wrote itBecky Cloonan drew itThe short stories in Demo are united by one theme: young people with power. Some of this power is familiar (super strength; a kind of mind control), but Wood's strength is in keeping most of these powers mysterious, confusing to even the kids who possess them. Wood has a talent for telling stories about young people that feel genuine, set in the real world, dealing with circumstances just on the other side of possible. Despite this talent and some excellent, even profound moments, DEMO is a deeply flawed read. By Chapter 8 Wood seems to have lost interest in his own theme becoming much more liberal with the idea of power. Chapter 9 for example is a story about who has the power in a relationship. While these stories are still good, and interesting, the lack of cohesiveness is detrimental to the book. Besides this structural flaw there are others. Occasionally, particularly in the first chapter the teenage dialogue has that artificial feel of adults trying to sound like teens. Cringe-worthy at times, but not as much as the last chapter which displays rhyming verse that feels as embarrassing as reading your old high school journals and earnest poetry.Becky Cloonan's black and white inks are mostly very good. But the first two Chapters have noticeable mistakes: arms, hands, and shoulders drawn slightly out of place, wall tiles that are drawn towards the wrong vantage points, and even accidental fingerprints in the ink. Interestingly Cloonan's artwork gets more polished as the chapters proceed. It's exciting to see an artist progress so obviously within the issues of a single comics series. By the middle chapters the artwork has eclipsed the writing as the strongest most interesting part of the book. In a few of these chapters this duo creates a story that is so fucking cool that all the little flaws don't really matter much. In Chapter 6 when white suburbia fucks with the wrong little Asian kid, his murdered puppy (killed for pooping on the neighbor's lawn) is brought back to life by his master to exact revenge on the boy's tormentors. The best part about the whole series is when the talents of these two creators peak in the same story, and you can see that they make a fantastic team. Unfortunately DEMO reaches its' potential too infrequently, and strays too often from what makes it great. Borrow the collection from the library or a friend and buy the single issues that are most exciting to you.