Dark Horse Comics 2021
By Tyler Boss
This whole book has been absolutely bonkers from the get go. Joe has been searching for answers since issue one and it’s all been about where Mac went. Love is a funny thing especially between two teenagers so when one goes missing and the other is tenacious and has no trepidation in searching for answers you’ve got quite a handful to deal with. How anxious it must have been for these folks waiting for Joe to turn eighteen in order to tell her the whole truth instead of stalling or trying to dissuade her from her investigation. Joe is every bit a woman after my own heart and that she’s such an investigative reporter type of personality really gave these folks a run for their money.
I am a huge fan of the way that we still see our narrator in an M.C. Escher style page as he brings us into the final issue. Though I was surprised to see a different page opening the book this time around but I will say this, it does a lot to explain the relationship between Joe and Mac. I’m going to miss this book but hopefully Tyler may still have plans to reunite Joe and Mac again and we’ll see how this experience has shaped this young woman.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how we see sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exquisitely. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction and how they act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter continue to flesh them out right up until the end. The pacing is sensational and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continuing to evolve and strengthen throughout. The layers within the story allow us to get into some characterisation we wouldn’t get otherwise not to mention how all the things placed in Joe’s way were meant to simply delay the inevitable. The way that everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is achieved beautifully.
The interiors here are bloody gorgeous and have been since day one. The linework is phenomenal and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail work that we see is stupendous. That we see backgrounds being utilised throughout the book is marvellous and how they work within the composition of the panels to bring us this depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story is outrageously good. 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 gorgeous as well. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work demonstrates a real understanding of how colour works. Plus the creativity and imagination that we’re seeing like the snow falling down or the peppermint swirl and even the photographs on the wall all conspire to create such amazing imagery.
This has been one of the most impressive, fun, interesting, engaging and dynamic story arcs I’ve had the pleasure to read and without a doubt is going to be one that makes many and end of year list. That Tyler was able to come up with the idea and then execute it to such perfection every single step of the way shows what kind of remarkable talent the man has. Plus that he’s done the writing and artwork all on his own is beyond impressive to me.