Joe is an imaginative young kid of 11 who happens to suffer from type 1 diabetes. Without supervision and insulin, he can easily slip into a delirious, disassociative state that presages coma and death. One fateful day, his condition causes him to believe he has entered a vivid fantasy world in which he is the lost savior -- a fantastic land based on the layout and contents of his home. His desperate attempts to make it out of his bedroom and down the mountainous stairs, to find food, switch the lights on and answer the phone to his mother, transform into an incredible, epic quest adventure through a bizarre landscape of submarine pirate dwarves, evil Hell Hounds, Lightning Lords and besieged castles; a landscape which allows him to work out his own and his
Diabetic Joe Manson lives with his widowed mother in a home on the brink of foreclosure and is bullied at school, but that’s just about all the reality we get before plunging head-over-heels into Joe’s hypoglycemia-fueled hallucinations. Joe is on the verge of insulin shock when he begins to drift into a bewildering fantasy realm. His pet rat, Jack, leads him through treacherous kingdoms to the underworld, where he will face “King Death” in the sunless land of “Hypogea”—in other words, Joe needs some glucose or he’ll die. Joe flashes in and out of his actual surroundings, which bleed through to the rich and dynamic imaginary world: his toys are soldiers in the land of “Playroom,” and stony, stairlike outcroppings are a dangerous obstacle between his bedroom and the main floor. While the story is full of delightful comic-book fun, the undercurrent of real-life peril makes this award-winning graphic novel much more than just another fantasy. Joe may be battling vicious creatures with laser guns on pirate submarines, but he’s really fighting for his life and home. Joe’s magnificent and bittersweet day-saving discovery at the very last moment will elicit cheers from even the hardest of hearts. --Sarah Hunter
Writer Grant Morrison is known for his innovative work on comics from the graphic novel ARKHAM ASYLUM to acclaimed runs on ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL, as well as his subversive creator owned titles such as THE INVISIBLES, SEAGUY, JOE THE BARBARIAN and WE3. He has also written best-selling runs on JLA, SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY and New X-Men and recently helped to reinvent the DC Universe in ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, 52, BATMAN and JOE THE BARBARIAN. He is currently writing both SUPERMAN: ACTION COMICS and BATMAN, INCORPORATED as a part of DC COMICS—THE NEW 52.