Image & Skybound Comics 2020
Created & Written by Chip Zdarsky
Created & Illustrated by Ramón K Perez
Coloured by Mike Spicer
Lettered by Rus Wooton
In the town of Stillwater, that’s not just a promise.
It’s a threat.
So this was a highly anticipated book, so much so that it is already going back for another printing. I am a huge fan of Zdarsky so for me this was a must have for me and now that I’ve read it I know that I need more! This is one of the weirdest and most interesting introductions to a series that I have read in quite some time. There is only one thing about this issue that makes me sad and that’s at the ending and I’m kind of mad at the timing but a part of my rational brain says it's okay, the emotional side of me says how dare you do that so soon!!
The way that this is being told is freakin’ amazing!
How we see the story & plot development through the sequence of events unfolding and how the reader learns information is laid out beautifully. The mix of his past, present and what he’s like is all mixed together in this in a way that makes sense and it allows us to really get a sense of what is going on. Granted there is still a lot to learn about Daniel as the snapshot we get here has some holes but that’s the beauty of it, it pulls us in and leaves us with this desire to know more. The character development we see is superb! How we learn about him through his actions and his interactions with others is really rather smartly done. The pacing is fantastic and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story and the twists & turns along the way it’s easy to see how well everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
I like how we see this book being structured with how the layering affects what we see and how we feel. This is as much about creating the mood, tone and atmosphere for the book that enhances the reading experience. There are moments littered throughout that just stand out as those you should pay attention to because they’ll be important, or at least they feel that way to me. It is so intelligently written that I’m pretty much in awe with every turn of the page.
The interiors here are pretty gosh darn intriguing to me. The linework here is great and I really appreciate the quality of the work we see through the varying weights and techniques which bring us the detail work. I love this unique style and how it blends things that are familiar and yet his own so that what we see is gorgeous. The way backgrounds are being utilised is fabulous to see and they enhance the moments while bringing some solid depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the book. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show an amazingly talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is great and I’m not terribly certain on the techniques we are seeing but the way that the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is brilliantly rendered. There are moments when I’d swear we see weathering which is phenomenal.
This is a really solid, interesting and engaging introductory issue. I am thrilled beyond belief with the level and quality of the storytelling within these pages. I was already expecting a lot out of this as Chip’s writing is something I absolutely adore and he’s extremely talented and this right here is so well written in how this engages you on such levels that will surprise you. There is one thing I am mad about but you’ll have to read this to understand what that is. If you haven’t picked this up yet there is no excuse for waiting.