Subverting expectations to find hope in the darkest of places is a good lesson we can all learn in a hellish year.
2020 has been a pretty horrible year for the most part. It’s easy to wallow in all that pain and anguish so a book like Maybe Someday is a welcome sight. The latest anthology from A Wave Blue World looks at stories of hope, even when things feel the most dire. This is a nice follow up to All We Ever Wanted, which took a sci-fi approach to a similar idea.
There’s a wide variety of stories collected in Maybe Someday. They all have an interesting twist to them, bringing them down on the lighter side. It’s fascinating to see how a story could go horribly wrong with one action. What’s great about these is how it subverts our expectations. It’s easy to take a pessimistic view of things. That’s certainly where my mind immediately went with many of these stories. The key here is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
A great example of this is “Drifters” from writers Curt Pires and Rockwell White, artist Valentine De Landro, colorist Oliver Mertz, and letterer Matt Krotzer. It’s a deep space story centered on a woman untethered from her line. All hope is lost. She’s about to float out into the vast emptiness of the stars…until she’s not. She was ready to throw in the towel and give up and I was ready to watch that downward spiral, but then a ray of light comes down and hope is restored.
This isn’t easy to do. The path of least resistance is to give up. It takes strength and bravery to stand up and fight. While these mostly take on a sci-fi bend, there are some more grounded tales too. “Support Animals” from writer Jono Diener, artist Sebastian Piriz, colorist Shaun Struble, and letterer Jim Campbell works in this manner, with a little twist. It follows a man ready to end his own life, but he’s stopped by his talking cat. We quickly learn that this is a world where animals talk and interact with humans. The whole short is just this conversation between these two characters as they take a look around and see all there is to appreciate in life.
As with most anthologies, there are highs and lows. “Let Yourself Hope” fell flat for me and didn’t really fit the themes of the rest of the book. I think this is maybe a little too personal, more about writer Max Bemis‘ hope for his family (served with a ton of self-deprecation) instead of the world at large.
My absolute favorite story is “Empathy for the Devil” from writer Renfamous, artist Josh Hood, colorist Chris Sotomayor, flatter Paul Haskell, and letterer Taylor Esposito. It presents the idea of Twitter and social media at large as just one aspect of a person’s life. Sure, they may be complaining online about something, but maybe they’re wrestling with problems at home or dealing with tons of student or medical debt. If you see the world through their eyes, maybe you’d think twice before yelling at them. It humanizes others.
We need books like Maybe Someday. There are so many titles full of doom and gloom, so it’s refreshing to dig into one full of hope, even when things look their darkest. While things can look bleek from time to time, it’s a nice reminder to not give up.