The Fiction is one part horror, one part adventure, and many parts mystery as it explores the idea of this book collection that connects another realm to ours. The first issue is slow paced as it lays out the pieces, but it's a comic that adopts a “watch closely or you'll miss it” mentality. On a second read through, I noticed the little touches, clues, and foreshadowing David Rubin included in the series' art. The Fiction is the kind of comic that needs a second and third read to get everything.
Rubin is a real treasure on this series. His art style is mutable, able to adopt the series' different tones with ease, and he did a fantastic job making the connection between the characters' age 10 and age 25 selves. When the tone of a scene turns dark, Rubin's more all-ages art style takes a turn for the creepy. The scene for each disappearance left goosebumps on my arms.
As much of a boon as the slow pacing is for those details, it's a curse, making this first issue drag and completely miss out on using the world of the Fiction to its full extent during this set-up, providing only a couple of pages and almost no detail from this other world. While a missed opportunity, Curt Pires makes up for it by layering mysteries: Where did the books come from? Who or what is taking these people? What was the nature of Tyler, Tsang, Kassie, and Max's parents' discussions when they were children?
For fans of mysteries, second reads, and comics that make you think about literature in different ways, check out The Fiction.
4 Crystal Rainbows out of 5