By Daniel Vlasaty
I like good crime fiction. I read it, I write it, I watch it. I am a fan of the genre because I believe that it shows up what a person is made of. It breaks right through all the bullshit and shows you the true nature of a person, what’s really in his or her mind and heart. Loose Ends is right up there with the best of them. It’s a book with a lot of characters and they’re all after something else (though we as the readers aren’t given all the information on what that may or may not be yet). Plus, it’s a beautiful book that’s gritty and violent, everything I look for in the genre.
Right at the beginning, issue #2 opens with a scene that’s like something straight out of The Wire. Two dudes ambush and stick-up a drug house. Things get real violent real quick, a bunch of people die, and I am hooked. This scene kind of comes out of nowhere, though, since none of the main characters are involved in it and it isn’t mentioned again in the rest of this issue. But it’s good and it gets my mouth watering at the possibilities of where this book is going to go in the final two issues. It shows me that there is so much more going here, and Jason Latour is only giving us little bits of it at a time, keeping us interested.
This issue spends a decent amount of time in an extended flashback, which is something that I usually don’t like all that much. Flashbacks are a good way to show us history and character development and all that, but in my opinion they usually pull away from the actual story. But I didn’t get that feeling. The flashback worked here. Latour uses it to say a lot without actually saying a lot. The main flashback is during a college/frat party. But Latour doesn’t focus on only one person. Instead he weaves everyone’s stories together. Sonny’s and Cheri’s and Rex’s and Kim’s. They’re all at this party and it shows us that these characters have a little more history together than what I picked up from the first issue. The dialogue in this scene is sparse and we get most of the story through Brunner’s art. Which I think is the thing that really makes this a don’t miss book. Chris Brunner’s art and Rico Renzi’s colors. They’re just great.
The scene is in shades of yellow and gray and black. Grainy the way memories sometimes are. It’s interesting and I think it just adds another layer to what the flashbacks are showing us.
The art overall seems better in this issue. There was a bit of inconsistency in the art in the first issue, but it seems to be cleared up now. And what we’re left with is the perfect stylized art for the kind of story this book is telling. I think it’s Rico Renzi’s colors that push it over the edge for me. It’s the heavy shadows and bright highlights. They make everything seem seedy and suspect. Which it is and should be.
I am really interested and excited to see where this story takes us in the next/final two issues. There’s a lot of build-up, told across two or three storylines, that I’m sure it’s going to bloody and violent and written and drawn beautifully. This book might have originally come out in 2011 but with this re-release it’s high on my list for best of the year.
Loose Ends #2
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Chris Brunner
Colorist: Rico Renzi
Publisher: Image Comics