When I first saw the cover of Jelel Dye’s mini One Android Stories: Deep Waters, I envisioned him as some kind of successor to Brian Ralph, except whereas Ralph seemed to focus on the primitive side of life, Dye appeared at least equally interested in things mechanical. He brings the natural, mechanical and otherworldly together in From The Clouds, a recent winner of a MiCE Comics Grant and a good example of what can be nurtured in the prospering Boston comics scene.
In ten pages, Dye spins a tale of benevolent beings who literally descend from the sky bestowing gifts and encouraging peace. The story partially takes on the form of parable but never gives a clear ending or moral, preferring to play on the idea of people changing by playfully and confidently adding literal imagery to metaphor and leaving the reader to wonder where either begin or end.
Given the nature of the last four years with Americans crying foul over both real and perceived changes to their way of life, From The Clouds reads very much like a product of its time. The ending is as uncertain as the next four years appear to be as ideologues are locked in more of a neck and neck race than I could have ever predicted a month back when I first picked up this comic. It will be interesting to dig this story up another four years from now and see if the its meaning and weight have changed. It will be fun to do that and gauge the measure of this comic to the newer, stronger work that Dye will likely create. This is a starting point to something. Let’s see what that is.