Scout Comics 2018
On Sale July 25th
Written by Matthew Erman
Illustrated by Lisa Sterle
The second book of Long Lost begins here! After venturing to their southern mountain home and learning some shocking news concerning their mother, Piper and Frances have gone missing and are now lost and alone in a place unknowable. Together, they must struggle and survive as they make their way back to Hazel Patch from where ever it is that they are.
While Matthew does an amazing job making this new reader friendly you really should read the first volume in this series. The trade is out on June 27th ( APR181735 ) so there will be plenty of time to read this before this one hits stands. I’ve said it before and I'll say it again this is one of the prime examples why smaller press companies deserve your attention and support.
There is so much about this that I love and one of the biggies is the way Matthew has structured this book. From first page to the last the way we see everything unfold has this incredible feeling of cohesion that makes the supernatural seem believable. From having been brought together, they thought it was them doing this but outside forces drew them together and to this point, you can see the tension between them. There are familial bonds and then there are family that are your friends too and the difference can be seen here in spades. That isn’t to say that the girls aren’t learning that trusting one another is easy but they are learning that this shared experience is reminding them of the bond they once had.
The characterisation here is exceptional and I love the way that while the girls stay true to who they are we are also seeing them grow, change and evolve as this changes them. Let’s face it you cannot go through this and not come out the other side a changed person and that we can see the changes happening and subtle ones is a testament to the thought process along with the talent and ability Matthew brings. Another thing that he brings to the table is that he can make this incredibly creepy so that it sends small shivers down your spine and that because of the story weaves around us this way it has a mesmerising kind of effect.
Lisa’s interiors kind of belie the creepy aspect if seen only through the surface lens. With each new issue of work I see of hers I see how complex and intricate the work really is. The cave and the “rocks” they have to navigate and get around in this darkness is exquisitely rendered. The creativity and imagination we see on display is great and that giant warthog while threatening feels more like retribution than actively seeking until the blackness comes from it then it becomes menacing. That Lisa can do that progression is amazing. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a solid eye for storytelling. I love seeing the way backgrounds are utilised here as well they work beautifully to expand the moments.
The story is pretty amazing in itself and that during the course of events Piper and Frances end up getting separated and by the end of the issue I began to wonder if either of them had found safety in any sense of the word. I adore the way Matthew tells this story I cannot stress that enough because when you think you have something figured out you just don’t. You also aren’t going to be able to figure out what’s real and what’s not until it’s presented to us.
With some absolutely sensational writing behind a great premise and surrounded by interiors that help lull you into a false security this is one of those books you shouldn’t be missing out on.