Two books into the four issue “was it a murder mystery” mini series sees pieces fall into place as much as lives threaten to fall apart. It seems that for all of those involved in this book, this chapter sees temptations lead the various cast members away from there respective safe havens.
Lana is determined to discover what happened to Betty Gallagher all those years ago; so determined that is starting to cause fractures in an already damaged maternal relationship and fissures in her relationship with Blair, who herself has to deal with challenges of the seedy underside of her performing art. Add in the fact that Lana is herself the focus of a crush, coupled with the news that a potential eye witness to the whole Betty Gallagher affair has gone missing, you start to see how the title of the book seems so appropriate.
Ann Nocenti continues her revival with a a well paced story that on first read shows a number of characters acting inconsistently, with arguments that are circular at best. It is only upon reflection that you realise that Nocenti delivers a well rounded piece of relationship observations. Love, especially young love, features erratic fears, voiced erratically with both parties, aware that their feelings leave them open, looking for ways to protect themselves. Other aspects of the story are equally well crafted with the ramifications of aspects coming to the fore showing that Nocenti is looking at all the various elements of the story through different lenses.
Flavia Biondi’s stylised art continues to impress in places. Just as in real life, people are not perfect; a fact mirrored in Nocneti’s actions and dialogue. Biondi’s white eyes start to annoy and detract the eye towards the end of the book. Was this an artistic choice, used in places to demonstrate a level of blindness that could metaphorically exist in the townsfolk’s memory, demonstrated by their lack of intent in finding what happened to Betty? Biondi gets to play with different venues of the town, placing characters in odd places which adds a level of quirkiness to proceedings. That said, I don’t care how skinny a girl can be, I don’t think there is a clothes line in place that could support their weight! Colors are provided by Lee Loughridge who matches the fall setting with a scheme that screams Autumn. There are different beats to the locales; each carries a strong sense of environment. Finally, Sal Cipriano’s font utilises the same quality as the previous issue, making the dialogue attractive to the eye which draws the reader across the panels and pages.
I have to say that I have enjoyed every twist and turn in this book so far; I have read a lot of crime books, so the armchair detective in me is curious as to who did what, to whom. An engaging book that serves to show how the impacts of the past can affect the frailties of the present as the characters try and decide what is important to them.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars
Overall – 4.5 Stars
Written by; Ann Nocenti
Art by; Flavia Biondi
Colors by; Lee Loughbridge
Letters by; Sal Cipriano
Published by; Berger Books / Dark Horse Comics