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‘Gideon Falls #5:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The team of Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, Dave Stewart, and Steve Wands are doing something I didn’t think could be done through comic book form. They are freaking the hell out of me. No book exists without all of the creators behind it, but there’s something about how all of the different elements in this book are working together, how the creators are conversing through their artforms, building off the last things said that is creating a truly visceral, unsettling experience. They are managing this with very little gore, very little violence, but more about what’s suggested – the abstract.

This is Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks the Return, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. This isn’t simply a mood piece, but a psychological dismantling of reality. Panel by panel, this team works to shift the reality of what we know to be true, what we hope to be true, until…well, we may find out sooner than later. At the center of all of this is the Black Barn, and, with each passing issue, the central characters – a priest, a sheriff, a psychologist, and her patient – are drawing closer and closer to this hellish, unsettling place. This issue brings us suddenly closer than we want them to be, or we want to be.

Yes, Gideon Falls is horror, but it’s so much more than horror. It’s a nightmare that you can’t help but want to return to. You lull yourself back to sleep, because you want to see what happens next. Some real talk: I may go to see a popular movie like Hereditary, and while there are some good, spooky elements – and some wonderful surprises – I ultimately end up shrugging my shoulders because there’s so much that still doesn’t connect or piece together for me. It’s like the creator threw everything that ever inspired him into the film, just in case he was never able to make another movie again. Gideon Falls is the opposite of that. It takes it’s time while never not moving the story forward, building that dread – a screw slowly turning into a piece of wood. You know the wood is going to crack at some point, and you watch it start to splinter, waiting…waiting… when suddenly… I’m both anxious and uncertain about the “when suddenly” moment in Gideon Falls

One thing that has allowed me to enjoy my comic reading the past six months is to put a soundtrack to the comics I’ve read. Some comics creators have created Spotify song lists to listen to while reading. Gideon Falls deserves music to be read to – something you find creepy. I have a little bit of the scores to There Will Be Blood and Under the Skin playing when I read Gideon Falls. It’s worth the extra effort to help complete the cinematic experience that certain comics have to offer.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (story), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wands (letters)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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