Image Comics 2017
By Jeff Lemire
Lettered by Steve Wands
Can we just talk for a minute about the opening here. How he ran away to reinvent himself then comes home only to feel lost between who he is and who he was! How completely common it is to feel that way since as a child and teenager you are exploring the world and trying to figure out who it is you want to be while outside forces, your family & friends, try to make into what they think you should be. The old saying “you can never go home again” only applies if you let it. You can see the journey you’ve made and not let the old insecurities come flooding back or at least stem the tide, I know I had to do that when I came home and i’m still the person I want to be but I can totally relate.
Oh my stars and garters the way this book flows and touches us as readers while being signature Jeff is also something rather extraordinary. I mean the metaphors for life, learning and self-discovery are off the charts. Forget getting a self-help guru or someone to cry your eyes too, now unless you have mental illness than keep seeing someone. This is what you need to be reading and seeing in someone else those things that tend to hold us back. Our self-inflicted psychosis and fear of success which we hide from the world and ourselves and blame everyone else for. The fact that this is almost too real, too heavy hitting and close to home should be scary but instead it’s all the more fascinating.
Sometimes things fit together better than you realise. Who knew Peanut Butter & Jelly would be the kind of ideal fit before it was tried? That’s what it’s like with Jeff and this story and his artwork. That he can bring this level of work to be alongside the level of writing takes the emotional factor to that place you cannot ignore. The way he can use page layouts and give us those angles and perspective bringing the story to life is stunning. The emotions he evokes in the reader is undeniable and powerful.
The realisation of what the characters are doing, need to do and have to do to close that chapter of their lives, heal and actually move on hits you like a freight train. It seems so simple and so straightforward but at the same time it’s something that you’d never have thought of and can’t imagine why couldn’t think of it. Stories today aren’t all about people who wear colourful garb or fancy dress and tell you what you should think and how to live. Stories today remind us how to live and become those we want to be and Jeff is showing us A possible way to do just that.
Move forward, let go of the past and live. Be happy and be as successful as you dare let yourself be. Don’t let your own fears and insecurities hold you back from doing what you want to do that which you love. Personally in this day and age it’s something too many people need to hear.