In a place where all of your dreams can be fulfilled, would you stay if your soulmate wasn’t there? The Misplaced Chapter 1 presents this premise with visually stunning pages that create a wonderful blend of illustrations one might expect to see in comic books, paintings, and video cinematography. Some of the images look as if they belong on a movie screen when the production company is introduced with unique images to help distinguish its brand. When you think of The Misplaced, you should think of its creator, Chris Callahan.
Callahan writes and illustrates this heavenly tale that one might best describe as a cross between films What Dreams May Come and The Fountain. Brilliant displays of light and dark help to magnify each side of the color spectrum. Bright amber beams down through trees and shines as millions of stars in the night sky. Angels also have this starry glow with wings gleaming in white, while parts of the body are covered in shadows. Besides covering parts of the naked body, darkness seems absolutely devoid of life, as the emptiness further enhances any other color.
The cover itself showcases a blend of these hues surrounding three primary images. One is a rose with a shiny stem, and another is a female stretching toward the top, leaving a ripple beyond her reach. She also seems to be fading away as her legs evaporate into smoke and swirl around. The third is a distinctive frame on the edges, which almost captures the other two like a painting.
The second page shows a pair of tombstones, indicating that death plays a key role, and the resulting Paradise is not what the main character James expected. The reader understands how absolute his devotion is to his wife Anna after he realizes she is missing from Heaven. Despite having everything and that everyone else is happy with this, he seems “to be the only one not enchanted by this.” This love translates through the pages as our protagonist begins to question his place and how he might find his one and only true love.
Callahan sharply crafts characters who the reader will not be able to easily discern their intentions; in a story involving one searching for another, and love being the guide, it’s an important part of the story. This uncertainty of those that James speaks with continues to grow, making it impossible to know what’s truth and what’s unknown. Is it possible to lie in Heaven? And if that is even a possibility, what would make anyone want to do such a thing?
The decisiveness of Callahan’s main character provides a wonderful attachment for the reader to grab onto, while hoping James’ determination leads him to Anna. This evocative tale generates an internal drive as hope leads him forward, because any outcome, other than his wife by his side, is unacceptable. This type of passion represents a sense of humanity not always found in the comic book world, yet it’s a relevant voice that’s wonderfully generated by Callahan.
The Misplaced Chapter 1 will be available soon on Comixology. For more information, please visit themisplacedcomic.com.