Looking back over recent comics last month the question is, were the eagerly awaited comics worth waiting for? And which really stood out for us.
So here are reviews for the top three comics that we cant live without, not saying that there weren’t other heavy contenders. We received a pre publication copy of “Sabrina” by Nick Dranso that will be published early June, and were so impressed we have included our review now.
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Colours by Dave Stewart
Variant Cover by Jock
Jeff Lemire returns to his slightly darker side with ‘Gideon Falls’, his latest excursion into the depths of mystery and murkiest shadows of our darker imaginations. Moving away from his more reflective musings upon the origins of the superhero in ‘Black Hammer’, this volume starts elusively through raising numerous questions in the reader’s troubled mind.
Opening with an especially creepy variant cover from artistic genius Jock, you are instantly forced to confront any latent fears with inverted panels and minimalist dialogue: there’s a new priest in town, wearing shades and a frown, querying the demise of his predecessor, whilst the protagonist Norton Sinclair collects trash samples and sports a paint mask to protect him from who knows what malign influence. His mission is glowingly enigmatic.
Some panels reek of Hopper, radiating a stillness filled with suggestion and experience, skillfully drawn and coloured by Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart. The shades of grey and black gradually become more defined to a deathly red as the reader is confronted by The Black Barn, an unsettling cliffhanger and a growing sense of unease.
This is a worthy addition to the canon of Jeff Lemire: 20 years in gestation, it is clearly not only a true labour of love but also another fully realised ambition for this most restlessly creative of comic auteurs. Part 2 is imminent. Seek out and admire.
Review by Hugh Ogilvie
Written by Patrick Kindlon
Art by Antonio Fuso
Black Mask Comics have come up with some great comics and this is no exception. The comic opens with two women pushing a pram chatting about life when a sniper starts shooting. Cut to later and downtown Honolulu and we are introduced to Saheer, a pakour runner who transports medicine and information across a no-man’s land occupied by militias and street gangs, to the now established Community. The Community is a group building their own eco system and surviving cut off from the militias. There are many unanswered questions and cliffhangers in this issue including who controls the community and who is Saheer really working for. The black and white drawing, split panes and layout reflects the pace and tension of pakour running, and keeps you the reader engaged throughout the story line’s twists and turns. Personally I want those questions answered and will be reading the next issue as soon as it’s out.
Written by Joe Henderson
Art by Lee Garbett
Colour by Antonio Fabela
“My Low-G Life” Part One: We open with a couple and their baby having a normal day when it happens- gravity suddenly reduces to almost nothing, and literally the world is turned upside down We then jump to twenty years later, and Willa Fowler is now part of a world that has adjusted to almost zero gravity. Life without being able to fly seems preposterous. The details of this new world begin to unfold as we follow Willa around her daily life. We are left at the end with Willa and her father in conflict about her future, when the bombshell is dropped that maybe Willa’s father knows something about how to change things back The story is fun and intriguing plus the characters are totally believable in how they view the positive and negatives of life without gravity. Original story line, snappy artwork and strong colour make this an overall great comic both visually and storyline.
Written and Art by Nick Dranso
(This is due to be published on June 7 and RRP £16.99)
Sabrina has gone missing; her family and boyfriend are all thrown into a world of uncertainty and tragedy. The book looks and feels beautiful, soft lyrical artwork and a slow moving story that lulls you into a false sense of security. Each page allows us a little more insight into the family and circumstances of Sabina’s disappearance and then a video about her disappearance goes viral on social media. Throughout something feels so wrong as the characters seem unable to engage directly and deal with the tragedy, and this disconnect grows as social media takes hold. But this is the core of the novel, the muted horror of how we live now and our inability to deal with life immediately around us. Nick Dranso draws us gradually into this world which seems at first innocuous, after all it’s a world that we live in every day, and then with each page feels more alienating. A truly brilliant book
Nick Dranso lives in Chicago and has been nominated for various awards as well as winning the LA times Book Prize for best Graphic Novel for his debut novel “Beverley”