Rating: 5/5 – The Story Seems Simple Enough, Until It’s Not. Then it Gets Fun!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Alamo.
I love taking chances on new books based on nothing more than a description and some cool looking art. Better yet when it’s a book coming from a small publisher like Oni Press, who doesn’t have the market share or prestige of the “Big 2,” but takes chances on creator owned series like Letter 44 and the Auteur (both of which are must read books for me). Enter the latest release from Oni Press, Joshua Hale Fialkov’s The Life After #1. I can say unequivocally that it’s gems like this that make it a great time to be a comic fan!
The premise of The Life After seems simple enough, until it’s not. The protagonist lives a life of routine (one can perhaps say orchestrated?) boredom. It’s wash, rinse, repeat, day after day. The word play in the narrative that describes his routine is brilliant, almost poetic. It’s humorous, in a sad way, and fun to read. It ends with an astute observation that “this is all of our lives, I suspect.” That line in particular resonates with me and I, too, suspect it will resonate with many people. Like so many of us, he wants to break free from the bonds that shackle him to daily life, but finds that he cannot. Until he does. And that’s when things get weird. There is nothing routine or boring about what follows, which includes aliens, samurais, punk rockers, prostitutes, Ernest Hemingway and, apparently, Alpha Centari. Fialkov has successfully thrown all of these things (and more) together and managed to retain a cohesive, interesting narrative. Joining Fialkov is artist Gabriel Bautista (aka Gabo). His art is funky, colorful, and fits the source material perfectly. I’m finding that a lot of these creator owned books have some of the freshest new art talent out there and Gabo is no exception (you may have seen Gabo’s work before on the wonderful Charlie ❤ Robots backup strip in Image’s Elephantmen).
I won’t reveal exactly what Fialkov has thrown us into with this story. Getting to the twist is half the fun, but part of the reason is also that I’m not exactly sure myself about what’s really going on! There is plenty yet to explore and I am definitely along for the ride. Do yourself a favor and join me in giving this unique and fun title a try.
Reviewed by: Adam Alamo
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