Alterna Comics 2018
Created & Written by Patrick Trahey
Illustrated by Luis Suarez
Lettered by Magnus
After bandits raid their farm, Caleb and his family reluctantly decide to travel the "Dead Roads" that lead to the ruins of Chicago (now known as the Sacred City) in an attempt to survive the impending winter. But as they traverse the barren wasteland, they quickly realize that their safety will come at a price -- perhaps the ultimate one.
I am a sucker for a post apocalyptic adventure and it really doesn’t matter that we don’t know what caused it, it’s just enough that it is. Through the story we can see the ramifications this family is facing and what Patrick does with it is nicely done. The opening is more than a little ominous for the outcome of at least one person but we can let that go for now because it’s never the destination that’s interesting of fun it’s always the journey getting there that is.
I do like the way that this book is structured and how the flow it goes through the pages. The introduction of the characters here is nicely handled and while it may seem like this family comes from the old west we know they don’t though they’ve had their lives irrevocably changed. there’s concern and fear in their action and apparently it’s been like 15 years since whatever went down and they’ve been living off the land and like a giant family, considering the parents have been like bunnies it isn’t far off, they’ve managed to survive this far.
Now I don’t know much about the whole “Dead Roads” but when Caleb brings them up his wife is vehemently against the idea. So I have no real clue as what it all means but we can safely assume that when it all went down cities were toxic. Though if you think about it after a month cities would be safe again as everyone tried to get the hell out leaving it empty and if there are for whatever reason zombies and the like well they’ll move outward where there’s more food. So now I am intrigued to see just who is out there scavenging after this amount of time.
There is a kind of all-ages quality to the interiors here. I say kind of because it also has this old school western tone to it and that all this which is where I would like to think the attention to detail comes in. the use of page layouts so that we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a nice eye for storytelling. I always want to see more backgrounds there’s way too much white space behind people or things in this issue. This is a small world so you need to expand the scope of it so we feel how small it is for them.
The characterisation here brings me back to a time when the old west was a time when kids grew up slower than they do today. Mum wants to keep the oldest boy, who’s 15, sheltered still and it’s time in this world to grow up and be a man. Though would it kill any of them to use names for crying out lout! I mean the boy, my boy, my son, it’s all the same person and ya know what I know he’s got a name but I think I only saw it once so now that I'm looking for it I can’t find it. I do like the characterisation it’s somewhere between old and new school or even what we consider current. it’s a nice introduction and leaves room for growth and change.
Alright one I issue in and I invested, I want to see what this family goes through and I am going to cheer for them. So bring it, show me what ya got.