‘Gideon Falls #19:’ Advance Comic Book Review

I’ve written 18 reviews now following each issue of Gideon Falls, and for me to say anything about the story at this point would be to ruin the experience of everything I’ve gone through. The emotional, mind-bending, upending nature of this series leaves me wide-eyed and out of breath at the end of every issue.

The basics: A mysterious Black Barn - a David Lynchian, nightmare machination if I’ve ever seen one - has appeared in the lives of our four main characters: a priest, a sheriff, a madman, and a psychiatrist. They are tethered together by a fate well beyond their understanding and infected to their very core by a disease known as the Smiling Man. And while influences of Lynch, Clive Barker, or German Expressionism are invoked, Gideon Falls uses those influences as merely a jumping off point. Where we are now, it has become a living, breathing creation all its own, and much like the brilliant cover conveys, this story is a puzzle that’s slowly coming together, and with each piece is another aspect of one of the characters being revealed. In this issue, we learn a bit more about the psychiatrist, Angela Xu.

In creating a comic book series that bends reality for the characters involved, the creators of this series always find a way to bend the format of the comic book genre to psychologically enhance the terror our characters are experiencing. In this issue, Steve Wands, the letterer, gets to break free and use the words on the page to overwhelm our senses in a way I haven’t seen accomplished before.

This team is the Harlem Globetrotter of comic book teams. Together, they have yet to miss a shot, and every page is sheer, unexpected magic. I honestly cannot recommend this series enough.


Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wand (letters), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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