Page 45 Review by Jonathan
John walked to the policeman's house.
The policeman lived in a house down the street. John had seen him being there sometimes, but other times he didn't.
"Oh hello, John."
"He's working, John. He's at the police station. Did something happen?"
John looked at the policeman's wife for a moment and thought about how anyone could have taken Beth.
"It's okay, sweetie. You can trust me."
"Noooo... nothing has happened."
Why wasn't the policeman home? What was he doing? Was he really at the station? Was his wife lying? John was very suspicious now. Finding Beth was going to be much more convoluted than he thought.
Yep, it really was! I'm pretty sure you have some questions of your own now... So here's the publisher to provide you with a few answers without giving away pretty much anything whatsoever at all...
"This is the tale of John Motts. He is a man who had a dog, but now that dog is gone. John searches his house, his street, and his town, but the dog is nowhere to be found.
John soon realizes that he must travel further, past the road and into the trees if he's ever to find out the truth of what happened to his dog.
Bags (or a story thereof) is a journey of love and suspense as John Motts searches through the world he knows, and a world he doesn't, weaved together beautifully by Pat McHale, creator of the Over The Garden Wall cartoon series and Gavin Fullerton."
If you seen the beautifully serene and sedately surreal Over The Garden Wall cartoon, or indeed read the subsequent OVER THE GARDEN WALL graphic novels, then you will immediately know what sort of subtle tone, and journey, to expect. The unexpected basically.
Don't try and guess where John will end up, you won't, or indeed if he will ever find his dog. He might. He might not. Just marvel at John's redoubtable determination and resilience to find Beth in the face of ever-increasing odds and oddity and despite all his obvious shyness and uncertainties.
The art is equally unusual, with a deliberate four colour-esque letratone period feel. It all adds to the uncertain ambience. Even the John Motts character himself, with his huge potato shaped head and couple of tufts of hair is like some sort of curious hybrid, both visually and somewhat in terms of personality, of a little JIMMY CORRIGAN and more so Charlie Brown from PEANUTS. He's the sort of character you'll find yourself rooting for but also shaking your head slightly at.