It has been quite the year for dreamscapes in comic books. I’ve only ever read a handful that actually worked and were interesting, but I’m definitely adding this issue of And Then Emily Was Gone to the top of the list. To be frank this issue started off a bit slow. It was still interesting, but slow none the less. Then the second half of the comic kicked in and my goodness is it fucking incredible. If you loved the first two issues then you’re about to fall head over heels for this third issue.
First off that cover is creepy as fuck. I can barely look that fox in the eyes before having to look away it’s that incredibly creepy. Kudos to Iain Laurie for making it both wonderful and terrifying to look at.
Now on the inside of the issue we start with Emily’s dad going over to Fiona’s house and talking to his dad. Of course everything Emily’s dad is saying is crap because we know that he pulled out some freaky ass creature from his and his wife’s neck and he’s never acted the same since. Well I think you know where this conversation is going to go so let’s move on.
Back with Fiona and Greg they’ve run into a creature they believe is Bonnie Shaw, but it turns out to be a deformed man that’s run away from the circus island that he once called home. He tells them that an evil presence came to the island and that he couldn’t stand to be there at the same time. Fiona is convinced that they need to go to the island, but Greg not so much. From there the rest of the issue is spent in a Twin Peaks style of dream, but let’s just say that Twin Peaks wishes it could be this damn amazing.
I really want to just go on and on about the dream sequence, but much like a dream it won’t make any sense. There’s a lot of clues and details left for us and we finally see a bit more about Greg before he started seeing monsters everywhere he turns.
Both John Lees and Laurie need ample credit for the dream sequence because Laurie brings it to life while Lees’ dialogue makes it strange and bizarre. It’s probably the best scene of the series thus far and that’s saying something considering how incredible the series has been.
Lees’ dialogue and pacing continue to be masterful. Oh how he dangles the carrot in front of the reader as he checks in with every character he’s introduced. Even if you weren’t curious he makes you curious. The dialogue is just as creepy as the art. The scene with Greg and Fiona and our unfortunate man end with him giving Fiona a knife and saying some dark shit to her. It was very telling of what the character may have gone through in his own past, but also for what lies ahead for Fiona.
I can’t say enough kind words about the art. It’s one of the few comics that I pick up and can honestly say that each panel and page is art on its own. It doesn’t have an agenda outside of telling the story, it isn’t concerned with being in a comic it’s just bloody art and wonderful because of it. The fox is creepy for sure, but there’s also a dog that shows up later and it’s scary. It’s not it’s a scary looking beast per say, but the look in its eyes and the way that Laurie illustrates it just pierces your soul when you look at it. It’s just incredible.
This is the first issue that I saw strictly in color and I must say that Megan Wilson is doing an absolute fabulous job on the series. Her coloring is the perfect fit for Laurie’s artwork and it never drowns it out, but rather adds the creepiness and shock. The fox and the dog are two examples of how her art brings out the tone of the artwork. Wilson is a tremendous talent and I hope to see her name attached to more comics in the future.
I feel bad that I took so long to review this issue but if the sales are any indication then this review isn’t really needed. Still I wanted to talk about it and hopefully you’ll want to leave a comment talking about it as well. Not having read the fourth issue I have to hope that it can find a way to beat this issue because each chapter continues to be more amazing than the last. Last week I think I named something my mini-series of the year, but honestly it just got bumped.
Writer: John Lees Artist: Iain Laurie Colorist: Megan Wilson Publisher: ComixTribe Price: $3.50 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital