Boom Studios 2015
Written & Created by Curt Pires
Illustrated & Created by David Rubin
Coloured by Michael Garland
Lettered by Colin Bell
With how this issue opens with Tyler locking up the house before going upstairs to bed when a mysterious book comes in the open window and freaks him out was a nice way to start this off. When his eyes go black and red and then the writing/lettering changes and something bizarre happens it’s enough to grab the reader’s attention and get them involved and have that immediate desire to read the rest to figure out what the heck just happened.
A lot of times it’s the opening that’s the most important part because if it isn’t able to grab the reader and keep their attention then chances are it will get overlooked. It doesn’t matter how strong the story could be in a world of immediate gratification sometimes strong isn’t good enough. This however does what it needs to right off the bat so i’m happy about that. Sure for me the interior artwork is a little simple at times but the colouring is nice and i do like the complete change in the lettering/font/colouring of the word balloons and that’s okay because it keeps the reader’s interest.
Fifteen years earlier a group of friends, all married couples, talk in a kitchen about what we don’t know but there’s something wrong and only one wants to address it the rest have that ignore it long enough and it’ll go away attitude. We don’t learn much more about their conversation because our attention is turned to an attic where their children are. This is truly where the story begins.
For the first time we learn that Tsang’s father isn’t behaving like the man he’s known and that something is wrong but they have no idea what. As they talk as only lifelong friends can Tsang finds a book starts reading from it aloud and suddenly the lettering is once again distinct and they find themselves someplace else as if reading the book has transported them within it’s pages to a wondrous land.
It all starts off innocently enough with the kids learning to love these strange new lands, their minds and imaginations flow freely and as often happens with childlike innocence things are wonderful and special until there comes a time when the reality of danger hits home and suddenly the wonderful turns into nightmare. I have to say while the interiors are a bit on the simple side, to me like kids books illustrations, they are extremely effective at portraying all these wonderful new experiences they are having.
Now we have an idea what happened to Tyler and suddenly only two of the four are left and with everything they’ve been through hasn’t exactly made them the most stable of adults. However childhood friendships hold a special place in our lives and the ones they have is more deeply rooted with what happened inside the book. So now our last two, Kassie and Max, take a leap of faith and try to follow their lost friends. This is where the story starts anew and continues from the opening.
It’s equal parts Never Ending Story with Stand By Me but done with a genuinely creepy and loving way.