Dark Horse Comics 2016
Created & Written by Peter Hogan
Created & Illustrated by Steve Parkhouse
In a town called Patience, Washington, lives a doctor named Harry Vanderspeigle. What
nobody in the town realizes is that Harry’s actually an alien visitor to our planet who
was shipwrecked here a few years ago. Since then, he’s been hoping for a rescue that
may or may not ever come—and while waiting he attempts to keep himself sane by playing
amateur detective. Recently, a local disaster has Harry and authorities looking for the
cause of a tragic fire and the death of a drifter . . .
This is one of my favourite series of stories. Harry is one of the most wonderful and endearing characters to have been created in the last decade. This issue is great because not only does it expand the story but we also get to see more of Harry’s crash on Earth and he realises that he’s not alone. Well he has friends who aren’t judging him because he’s an alien but by his actions and personality. Though I do believe that Asta’s dad only trusts her judgement on him considering how he went about things this issue.
Actually give Peter major props for that whole conversation between them though. I mean while we don’t understand the whole Native American view and their perception we’ve seen Asta know he’s not human but hasn’t been able to broach it. I like that this is equal parts a father looking out for his daughter and a man with an open mind who is open to new ideas and beings. It’s also a nice way for Harry to know that while he’s alone he isn’t truly alone and has those whom he can trust with his secret. Albeit he doesn’t know how far that trust can go just yet it is one of those developments that have been long coming and the way it plays out is extremely well done.
Steve’s interiors are always impeccably done. He’s got such a strong eye for storytelling and his use of page layouts with angles, perspective and backgrounds help draw the reader into this small town world and keep us invested in the characters and their lives. The attention to detail is wonderful and the use of facial expressions and body language help to flesh out the characters wonderfully.
There isn’t a story out there like this one. The town has that modern Mayberry feel and yet there are still plenty of situations Harry finds himself in that would make Angela Lansbury happy. With some of the best characterisation and storytelling around this series continues to impress on so many levels. As the Government’s search for him heats up can Harry find the man’s daughter fulfill his promise and still stay off the radar? We’ve got one more issue in this arc to go to find out.
You don’t get this kind of interesting and wholesome style storytelling involving an actual alien who likes to solve mysteries. Don’t pass these up.