Scapegoat Press 2017
Written by Stefani Manard
Illustrated by Paul Gori
Coloured by Whitney Cook
Lettered by Ted Woods
Cover by Carlos Villas
Y’all know that I love my indie books and those that publish them and over the years I’ve come to really like finding new companies and new voices in the industry! Now there’s a whole thing about the cover versus the interior artwork, on one hand yes it would be nice it if represented what was inside but on the other it’s the first thing you see and it has to make a statement to catch your eye and make you pick it up and look at it. Carlos Bravissimo because this is a stunning cover and does what its supposed to and so much more. Ah one of the best covers I personally have seen this year!
So once you see the cover and pick up the book inside you are going to find a story that I guarantee you aren’t expecting! I love the pacing that Stefani brings to this she has a great sense of how things should flow and when to release information so that we all have we need to both be informed and for speculation of what we think is going on. For instance Zach seems like a good kid, a bit lonely or a loner and could possibly be gay but we don’t know and considering the actions of what we see I wouldn’t be surprised. Though it’s not really his sexuality that is an issue it’s his home life and who he’s destined to become.
I’m super impressed with the characterisation that we get here. From Zach in school and leading to the moment seven months later as we see his life change and his comfort level grow. Stefani manages to convey the change in Zach’s personality without having to really delve into needless wording and that’s a rare ability. It’s not just her though because Paul is a huge component in that as well. His facial expressions are noticeably important to how we perceive Zach as boy and a man.
While Paul may have that beginners feel to the look it’s rather quite solid. He’s got his own style that feels familiar and indie and yet manges to beautifully convey the emotions and feelings going on at any given moment. His use of page layouts through their angles and perspective show a great eye for storytelling. Also not going to lie I adore the fact he knows how utilise backgrounds in his panels and his attention to detail and knowledge of human anatomy are splendid! While there is a moment in this issue that’s borderline erotic it’s beautifully done and really solidified my appreciation for his ability and skills.
So what are the events in someone’s life that could fundamentally change who you are and what direction your life is going to go in? That’s not something we tend to think about it really is more akin to our nightmares than our dreams and that too is something Stefani manages to get across. I love that there’s this complex subtlety to her writing that you can see what she means without having to be bombarded with it in the wording or narration. The way this flows shows us what these events in Zach’s life are going to shape and mold him into being something I doubt even he ever thought he could be.
I’m shocked and in awe of one moment in this that for me was the tipping point, that piece of straw that broke the Camel’s back if you will. I wholeheartedly admit that this would be one of those documentaries on Netflix that would change the general populations mindscape on how a psychopath is made. Forget Making of a Murderer as you know it because this fictionalised version is much more fun, interesting and thought provoking. So contact your shoppe, or subscription service and have them order this for you, trust me you’ll thank me later.