I’ve never seen a red so red. I’ve never seen a white page so white. I sat staring, afraid to turn the page, but knowing that I would have to, and after I did, I spent two minutes gasping for breath as I cried. Yes, sometimes, comics make me cry. I have a feeling, though, that there’s more in store as Lemire ends the second volume and makes his way bravely into the third volume of Gideon Falls.
It took me minutes to pull myself together enough to open a blank document, and minutes more to begin writing. This is the power of Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Dave Stewart’s Gideon Falls.
The character of Norton Sinclair, a damaged man in his twenties who’s set out on a mission to rebuild something called The Black Barn from trash found around the city, ended up stepping into the Barn in the last issue. Likewise, a priest, Father Wilfred Quinn, trying to not only solve a murder with a local small-town Sheriff, also entered the Black Barn. Over the course of this issue, we finally get an idea of what the Black Barn was supposed to be, and that it has become something much different. From the first issue, the focus of Sinclair and Quinn’s journey has been focused around realizing and understanding what pure evil is. This issue has brought them a big step closer.
While reality warps around them, the reader witnesses the structure of the comic book form become the confusion and evil they are feeling on a visceral level; the panels are almost attacking them. Steve Wands takes lettering to a new level by letting words form from black matter on the page. Nothing is safe for our main characters. Nothing is stable for the reader.
In the end, we’re left with quite the cliffhanger.
Jeff Lemire is one of the best comic writers out there right now. His works defy the genres they at first embrace and become works of art and portrayals of humans facing their own existence. He not only explores the characters and situations he presents but also explores the depths of the medium he entertains.
We should consider ourselves lucky that creators like Lemire exist, and we should be following them on any journey they feel is worth taking.
As a side note, Image Comics has created a Spotify playlist page, and Sorrentino has created a playlist of songs that represent each issue, which is cool. Personally, I’ve been listening to Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts Vol. I-IV. Very effective.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (story), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Steve Wands (letters), Will Dennis (editor)
Publisher: Image Comics
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