Mad Cave Studios 2020
Written by Christopher Sebela
Illustrated by David Stoll
Coloured by Dearbhla Kelly
Lettered by Justin Birch
Waiting on the porch after a heist gone wrong is the last person our young thieves ever expected. Now they have to figure out how to escape the nightmare for a second time. The past has caught up to them, and this time, it brought a gun.
I am a huge fan of this book. Just the concept alone had me hooked and to see the kids get caught by the man they stole from and then forced to work for him, till they got him arrested and now it’s five years later and He’s Baaaack! These kids have grown up some and they are still doing what they’ve been doing but to honest I don’t think they’ve wisened up at all. It is so easy to see what Christopher is doing with these characters and how complicated they are as the bonds that hold them together are also the ones that can break them apart. It is such a fascinating story and a truly unique range of characters that it is an absolute joy to see how he’s made them family to one another and how they’ve grown into the roles they’ve chosen.
I like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold alongside how the reader learns information keep everything constantly moving forward. The character development is astounding! These kids fight each other and with their benefactor or the guy who learned ASL while in prison to further control the kids. Watching them act and react to the situations and circumstances they encounter and the choices they make is like watching a train wreck only more fun. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists & turns along the way we get swept up in these events alongside them.
I am enjoying the way that this is structured and how it allows the layers within the story a chance to keep growing, evolving and taking on elements that keep it’s own. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow is extremely nice to see. Sebela really understands how to write and he’s got the talent, skill and imagination to make it all seem like child's play.
I really like how we see the interiors here. He may be the bad guy but with that Tom Selleck mustache and the way he looks that’s one i’d call “Daddy” any day he wanted. Each one of these characters has their own unique look to them that is held throughout and it takes a great amount of skill and talent to do that so consistently. The linework we see and how through its varying weights and techniques that bring forth the detail work is stellar stuff. Now if I could just get more utilisation of backgrounds the interiors would be perfect. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a talented eye for storytelling. The colour work that we see is really well rendered. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work really is rather impressive.
These kids are seen as having a disadvantage but to me they are more capable than most folks who are deemed to have no flaws. They work hard at what they do, they use everything they can to their advantage and in many regards they take no prisoners. The concept and execution of is brilliantly done and I think this group of kids need to keep making appearances over the years in many more arcs to come.