I am sure that like me, you have at times randomly thought of half a tune or half a lyric or even a part of a scene from a movie or TV show. You then spend way too much time trying to work out where it’s from, so much time that it feels like your brain is itchy! The sense of relief when the answer finally comes to you (or you check Goggle), is immense. What if however you weren’t meant to remember the song/theme/movies at all?
Things You Shouldn’t Remember is the next project from Darby Pop, fresh from their success of Sweet Lullaby (go look it up in the review and interview sections). As with Lullaby, a simple idea is tweaked and built upon. This first issue is all set up, with the introductions of John Pellman and Paul Conway, two company men who are called upon to take care of “situations”. We are also introduced to Marc Royles, the only person who seems to remember a group called The Canonicals. The two strands are intertwined as we follow both plots, with an increasing sense of understanding. There are still questions throughout, none more so curious than the graffiti artist on the final page.
Writer and letterer Luis Roldan Torquemada works hard to not give the whole game away. In this instance, the title of the book could have worked against Torquemada; yet rather than struggle, Torquemada runs with it and rather than rely on the title, he goes some way to add context to the proceedings. This engages the reader from the outset. The dialogue feels a like being on a piece of elastic, stretching from the monosyllabic before rebounding into the exposition of the Royles character. Funnily enough, the reader gets more from the short conversations between Pellman and Conway, than the more gregarious poker player.
Mariano Eliceche provides the art for the book, which at first glance, is reminiscent of J.Briscoe Allison of Sweet Lullaby fame. I don’t mind this so much, as I can understand the need for an independent company trying to create a house style. On further inspection, there are differences. Sure there is a level of exaggeration on show, but where Allison is curvy, Eliceche is angular. Another major difference is the details, with Eliceche looking to trick the eye in providing details that other artists would instil in their work. This is by no means a bad thing; each artist has to work to their strengths. The art has a level of dynamism that propels you through the book well. Colors are by Angel Lidon who give the book a level of darkness early on, before moving into a subtle style that accentuates the pressure and danger in the forgotten half remembered memories.
Darby Pop seem to have found their niche in the heavily populated world of indie comics, producing high quality books that walk a fine line between dark humour and flat-out darkness. It will be interesting the see how this mini series plays out, hopefully delivering on the promise of this excellent first issue, giving us a series to truly remember. Now where did I put my wallet?
Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 3.5 Stars
Colors – 3.5 Stars
(W) Luis Roldan (A/CA) Mariano Eliceche
Publisher: Darby Pop
In Shops: Aug 30, 2017 / Diamond Order Code: JUN171443