If you’ve yet to pick up Lil’ Depressed Boy from Image Comics then you’re really missing out on one of the best books of 2011. The story follows the life of the character aptly named Lil’ Depressed Boy or LDB as most people call him. His look is that of a sock doll with giant black circles for eyes and a black line of a mouth. Everything about his character seems unrealistic and almost screams of a creative team trying too hard to make something special. Yet LDB is probably the most relatable to anyone who has made it through their late teens into their twenties. LDP’s charm is that there’s something for everyone to relate too, be it the music, the emotion or just the depression that many feel when growing up. This issue sees the conclusion of LDP’s trip to OKC which has yet to have one thing go right for it. The journey started with his friend Drew getting arrested and them making the last song of the show they show they went to see, on the final leg of the trip LDP runs out of cash and Drew’s truck goes bust. The two then push the truck home which pretty much caps off the difficult journey perfectly. Once home LDP finds Jazz waiting on his doorstep, this is the first time he’s seen her since her birthday party in which he discovered that she had a boyfriend.
The thing I love about LDP is that it is a slow-moving drama. It’s been almost a solid year of this book and we’re only a few weeks into the life of the character thus far. If I had to peg one thing that draws people to the book I would say that it’s the realistic conversations the characters have. Not just with each other, but with background characters as well. This issue has a scene in a diner were an entire page is spent on them ordering food. It’s not important to the story, but it makes them more human and more relatable. The writing in LDP always comes across like you’re eavesdropping on someone’s life rather than reading a work of fiction.
The art is as always great. The style complements the story and captures the mood of each scene. If you’re new to the book, LDP will stand out since every other character is photo realistic. I believe the intention of leaving LDP faceless and without any characteristics and without a real name, is to allow the reader to project themselves onto the character. By doing that they allow the reader to have an even deep attachment to emotions of the scene; rather than asking you to feel for a particular character you’re asked to relate to yourself and your own experiences.
This is was a good issue and exactly what I’ve come to expect from LDP. I may not have loved the interaction with Jazz, but that’s the sign of a great book; when it takes the path of most resistance rather than giving you the ending that you want. This might not be the best jumping on point for new readers, but even if you start here you’ll get enough recap of the previous events through the dialog and honestly you should still feel the emotion of the ending. If you chose to wait then you’ll be able to jump on with the next issue.
Writer: S. Steven Struble Artist: Sina Grace Publisher: Image Comics Price: 2.99 Release Date: 1/4/12 (That's my first 2012 of the new year folks!)