‘Gideon Falls #9:’ Advance Comic Book Review

In Gideon Falls, the characters circle each other like they’re caught in a water vortex, slowly being pulled towards a center that may be devastating for all involved. Like the gatekeeper and the key master, maybe it’s best that they never meet…but, boy, do we want them to. Every step that these characters take which brings them together, converging on the Black Barn - a supernatural distortion of time, space, and reality where a being called the Laughing Man inhabits - is a step that makes me want the next issue to come out sooner.

Andrea Sorrentino’s (the artist) name comes before Jeff Lemire’s name on the cover, and for good reason. The world he’s created is one that springs off the page with depth and texture, the visual spatial awareness he controls is one that draws you into the mental state of the characters. I spent a few extra minutes adjusting the PDF “layout” so I could see his two-page panels breathe, and I’m glad I did. It’s beautiful, brilliant, and bold.

While Sorrentino continues to captivate, Lemire pulls his forefingers apart and lets the tapestry of this Chinese finger puzzle tighten its grip (which is a far more apt description than I intended it to be – you’ll understand after a certain exchange of dialogue). While the priest and Sheriff Clara try to put the pieces of the puzzle together that they discovered at the end of last issue, Dr. Angel Xu attempts to break Norton Sinclair out of a psychiatric ward. The dynamic between these pairs is interesting; while Xu has given in 100% to the reality of the existence of the Black Barn, Clara has not and continues to fight against the evidence that’s been piling up. Having one story be active and one be contentious is a really great way to tell this story. It allows us to see conflict move the story along in fresh ways making this a really involving read.

Everything about this comic doesn’t only work but affects the reader on visceral and psychological levels. Even the covers, which are beautiful in their simplicity, involve the reader – like the characters in this book, looking for something barely seen . . . a shadow, a specter, an outline, a memory, something on the edge of imagination or a nightmare, or both. Gideon Falls is a place worth disappearing into.


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