Rating: 4.5/5 – And Then Comics Were Different…
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
In a comics landscape dominated by “same” I like to seek out the different. This quest is aided by great comic shops that are willing to stock comics ‘on the rack’ that move outside the norms of super-powers and licensed properties. There’s nothing wrong with the comics featuring heroes and movies and toys, there are some great comics in those genres, but when you move away from that you can find some comics that really get you to go “Wow! Now that is something I’ve not seen before”.
And Then Emily Was Gone #1 is one of those “Wow!” comics. Writer John Lees and artist Iain Laurie have created a horror mystery that’s unlike anything else I’m reading. This is both because of Lees’ story about ex-Detective Greg Hellinger who left the job because he sees monsters that other people cannot see and his decision to help Fiona look into the disappearance of her friend Emily. A large part of the difference is Laurie’s art. It’s very stylized, almost grotesque in a way, and I love it. I can easily see someone looking at this art, not liking it, and making some dismissive off-handed judgement about it being ‘bad’. Those people would be wrong, I can’t argue with someone liking or disliking art but I can disagree with an objective value judgement of quality. Laurie’s art is wonderfully weird, like Basil Wolverton’s or William Eckgren’s art that was similarly off-kilter and also well-regarded by those with an appreciation for the different.
And Then Emily Was Gone #1 is a celebration of the bizarre and unsettling. Lees has several narrative threads running that kept the issue interesting for me. Who is the man with the hammer? What about Bonnie Shaw, myth or real threat? What is in that box?? And what mysteries await on the Isle of Merksay? I can’t wait to find out, Lees and Laurie have a new fan and I’m hooked on this series. I’m glad I have an LCS that carries stuff like this, I know I’ll be able to pick up #2 when it comes out!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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