‘Gideon Falls #7:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Dave Stewart is one of the best colorists in the business. He excels and, in doing so, elevates whatever project he works on, and he was born to color horror. It’s not just about using red, blue, or green; he uses shades of color in ways that not only tell the story, but affect the emotion and mood of the reader - colors that feel unnatural. His work on Gideon Falls is a testament to his talent. When we flash back to see the Sheriff of Gideon Falls, Clara, as a kid, Stewart’s color palette softens and becomes brighter. He brings a different quality out of Andrea Sorrentino’s work as an artist without sacrificing the underlying tension of the book.

Speaking of Andrea Sorrentino, his artwork is really beautiful here. The layout and paneling alone create an unexpected amount of unease. The world shifts from upside down, to upright, to sideways. You never feel lost, but you do start to feel disoriented in the best way possible, like an unseen force is affecting the world these characters preside in. Both we and most of the characters know this is the Black Barn, even if we don’t know who or what exactly is in the Black Barn.

That brings us to Jeff Lemire and the story of those individuals who, for some reason, are connected to the Black Barn. Lemire is a writer that likes to spend time with his characters. He likes to hear them talk and posit ideas. He likes to get their point of views on the page. He enriches them by giving them strong emotional attachments to things. They feel real and they feel lived in, even when we first meet them. That’s really what makes the horror of Gideon Falls connect. We believe these characters could exist, and we believe that something like the Black Barn could exist for them. At the same time, Lemire has built a foundation in which, because of the Black Barn’s existence, even the craziest thing feels grounded. He’s found balance between the fiction of the story and the lore of the story, like a teeter totter balancing perilously completely parallel to the ground.

All of these elements - the story, character, art, and coloring - give us the best issue of Gideon Falls so far and a cliffhanger that gave me serious chills.


Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (story), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wands (letters), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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