Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"So how'd you get out?"
"Don't really remember that part... no one's seen Mark since, though."
"Wait, that's bullshit! Everyone knows Mark drowned in the river last summer!"
"You sure about that?"
Nope. I really don't believe that for a second, such is the catalogue of murders, apparent suicides (definitely murders) and other apparently random attacks (they're not) that seem to be happening with disturbing frequency to the teen population of Alexandria.
This work has been compared favourably to LOVE AND ROCKETS and I can see why. I would specifically make the comparison with the Blood Of Palomar storyline which is found in LOVE AND ROCKETS: HUMAN DIASTOPHISM. For there, like here, a serial killer is stalking the mean streets, whilst social cohesion seems to be terminally on the wane between the residents. There is also a very dramatic ending, which in turn reveals all. Well, not all, but certainly things make a lot more sense afterwards. In the meanwhile, the teenagers just carry on as normal. Messing about, going to parties, getting drunk and high, falling out, fighting, getting off with each other, all seemingly without a care in world. Well, aside from the usual crippling teenage angst and insecurities, that is... (Ah, those were the days! I think!)
There was also a certain suspicion that gradually began to occur to me, initially gleaned from some of the conversations between characters, before it was definitively confirmed for me towards the conclusion. Actually, I've just realised I wouldn't spoil anything by mentioning it, as it asks this very question in the blurb on the back cover...
"Also: where are all the parents?"
Where indeed...? I wonder... There's also one another reason why this work reminded me of the Blood Of Palomar, and whilst I will say it doesn't involve monkeys, I will keep that to myself!
Very, very accomplished debut work from Liz Suburbia, she certainly can write. I'm struggling to come up with an exact comparison for her black and white art style, but if you were to put 50% Gilbert Hernandez and 50% Bryan Lee O' Malley in a blender and whisk 'em up, I think her illustrative style well be the result.