Max Bemis - Polarity [comic] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Max Bemis

Polarity [comic] (2013)

boom! sTUDIOS

Max Bemis' mental struggles have been well-documented and are pretty much known to the rock world. The Say Anything frontman, no matter if his music dips in quality, is known for his amazing lyrics and in Polarity, well, he channels just that in the form of a PSA -- a dramatic and yes, very psychedelic comic revolving around bipolar disorder and medicating it. I love how he lays everything bare and puts his own issues into the book in what's essentially a love story, drawn by Jorge Coelho.

BOOM! Studios is the perfect ground for such a trippy story and Bemis really lets loose in detailing Tim, a mentally ill patient of Dr. Mays, who's treating him for his brain disorders. However, the pills Tim's taking are actually suppressing his abilities, and the chain of events that follows threatens to rip him apart from Lily, the love of his life. Now, this book has so many musical easter eggs, not to mention amazing covers and variants (from the likes of Frazer Irving of all people) that it's worth pickup alone for the art. Coelho's interiors also splash so much vibrancy and color, it's unique to see how they blend into such a dark story.

It's poetry in motion as Bemis includes interludes which feel like songs, and more so, it's great to feel the entire project fitting right in narrative-wise with almost any record he's put out. And here, from government conspiracies, to his stances on drugs, sexuality and family, Bemis' perspective on life on the whole unfurl with aplomb; albeit a bit too predictably in the late stages. Nonetheless, while some parts lose you (hey, it's just wordy and rambling inconsistently) the segments that work are astounding. So jump in and prepare for a creative trip down the rabbit hole, as reality takes a backseat and things gets blurred beyond belief in Polarity.