Source Point Press 2021
Created & Written by Michael Fleizach & Todd Hunt
Illustrated by Dave Mims
Lettered by Zach Turner
With all of New York City enveloped in the zeitgeist of a missing 8-year old girl, lovable anti-hero Francis Darling accidentally stumbles onto the machinations behind her kidnapping and the drug war that ensues. But has he really? A bit like chasing the Mad Hatter through a toxic chemical cloud, Francis' strange and inconceivable journey brings us uncomfortably close to NYC's most crooked... most deviant... most irredeemable characters; the kind that can only be extricated from the drug-addled guilty conscience of a failing brain.
What an interesting and pretty powerful this story already is. We’re talking drug addiction and in this issue alone not only do we see that Francis has tracks up his arm but his girlfriend or ex-girlfriend isn’t able to handle being around him because of it. This is where things get tricky because if something happens to him and he overdoses or some such deal her guilt at not being able to help him when she knew full well the extent of his addiction well that’s something that is incredibly hard to live with. So that we see these kind of things and super impose them through our own knowledge and experiences is what makes this so impactful and engaging.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented extraordinarily well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction and how they act and react to the situations and circumstances that they encounter is magnificently rendered. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages introducing us to these characters, the story and the world they inhabit it is easy to empathise with these folks and get swept in their lives.
I like how we see this being structured and how we see the layers emerge and grow. It is within these layers that we see some great characterisation, how we meet the various characters and really get a sense for this world. What these moments do is add this extra depth and complexity to the story and it does so beautifully. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is greatly achieved.
The interiors here are absolutely gorgeous! The linework is phenomenal and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create this level & quality of detail work that we see is astounding. There is this amazing style to the work that just works so beautifully plus how we see the backgrounds and how they are utilised throughout is spectacular. How they work within the composition of the panels create the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is brilliantly rendered. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work is rendered exceptionally well. I love seeing the creativity and imagination being utilised to bring this world to life.
I am super impressed with this book. It is deeply personal, you can tell that just by the subject matter and how well it is represented, story and how the structure, characterisation and the overall writing is so phenomenally well done with such creative and dynamic interiors make this something powerful to read.