‘Everything #3:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I thoroughly enjoy stories that take some patience on the reader’s part, and Everything is one of those stories. From the first two issues, you had a clear sense that something was going on with the new store (called Everything) that opened in a quaint town. If you were savvy, you even recognized some of the underlying themes percolating about capitalism, depression, and happiness, even if you didn’t quite know how all of the characters fit together. There are a lot of characters that fill in the pages of Everything.

Now, in issue three, some of the characters are crossing paths, and their motivations affecting the larger story are being revealed. It’s difficult for me to talk about the story, because there is so much going on, but one central character (Shirley, the manager at Everything) is one of the main cogs in the forward movement of the story. With blond hair and blue eyes (one slightly discolored), she works diligently with a plastered-on smile to make sure Everything is perfect for everybody. It’s a lofty goal. While she works to make sure everyone else is happy… she starts to question her own happiness.

This world that Christopher Cantwell and I.N.J. Culbard have created is ultimately sci-fi, but the kind of sci-fi that Philip K. Dick or Richard Kelly would write. It's sci-fi that is grounded in our everyday experiences even if they are heightened. How many times have we gone out or opened up the Amazon home page when we're feeling depressed and started hunting around for something to buy to make ourselves feel better - a brief moment of clarity from the cloud of sadness?  As the money passes from your bank account, you can momentarily breath more easily. You’re tricking your brain into thinking things are better than they are. They must be if you can frivolously spend money you don’t have. This is just a distillation of the themes and emotions being presented in Everything.

Cantwell is one of the most intriguing creators to hit the comic industry in the last couple years. His She Could Fly series was an emotionally complex and beautifully conceived look at depression and all of its facets. He’s tapping into something else that our modern society faces with Everything, and I think it’s worth the read.

Creative Team: Christopher Cantwell (writer), I.N.J. Culbard (artist), Steve Wands (letterer), Karen Berger (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics, Berger Books
Click here to purchase.

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