JUST JOSHING: Norah
I stumbled upon Kasey Pierce one day on Dirk Manning’s Facebook page. She was calling herself Kosmic Kasey and was a very talented writer. I interviewed her for my podcast and got ahold of her book Pieces of Madness, which was a very solid collection of stories. Since then, she has managed to find her way into comics and journeyed into her dreams of being a comic creator. Her book Norah is the first step in what I hope is a long career for her.
Publisher: Source Point Press
Created and written by: Kasey Pierce
Art and Letters: Sean Seal
Covers: Jason Westlake
Norah is someone who intervenes with people with near-death experiences and tries to bring them back from crossing over. Issue one starts with Anna, a kid trapped between life and death, being attempted to be rescued by Norah. Most of the dialogue in the first issue is between Norah and Anna’s parents. The visuals of between are creepy and dark, and the door back involves the light. Norah rescues Anna and is brought back to our world. Pierce reveals a few tantalizing clues about Norah’s backstory, and then goes off to the next issue.
Issue two twists the idea of Norah rescuing those in between in a very creative way. This time she’s rescuing someone named John, who is not alone. A fetus like kid is there with him. It turns out that the twin had been absorbed. This mission tends to go both ways as Norah tries to move one back and forward. It’s a sweet moment. More of Norah’s backstory is revealed as her deceased husband joins the fray and more pieces of how Norah came to be is here.
Issue three takes place for the most part in the past. Norah and her husband James’ backstory on the drug that lets them go over is contracted by the military to save the world from demons from that dimension. Although the resolution is not on screen, you can tell it doesn’t end well. The other interesting thing about the issue is that Norah contacts her sister who goes by Vera. Their relationship is a tad distant. I really love the color here by Seal, it’s very different than the dark tones the rest of the comic has. The red really makes it feel surreal in a not unpleasant way.
All in all, Norah has been fleshed out to be a very layered individual. There is empathy, even though I know that Norah wouldn’t want any. She’s not doing what she’s doing for any other reasons other than her own. Yet I don’t believe her on the concept of redemption. At the very least there are hints there are other reasons she continues down this journey.
I should mention that Seal’s art is very creepy. This is a comic not done with traditional colors. There is a digital quality that almost gives a watercolor-like feel. It adds equal layers of surrealism and horror. There’s a lot of dark tones in the book. It feels like it should, a horror story.
Behind the Story
“When I was 26, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That’s when I became fascinated with neurology—how the brain and mind works. I’ve also a very spiritual person with roots in the metaphysical. I began thinking about what a coma would be if it were a place. To me, it’d be a cold, desolate house in space between life and death. The CIA part came from way too many NPR broadcasts. I was stuck in my apartment during the ice storms throughout the Midwest. That’s when I put on a classical piece by Lunz called “Something Happened Here”. Then I began to write about a woman who was carefully searching for someone in a cold desolate place…”
Norah is a creepy, classic horror story. I hope this is a long start to a great career for Kasey Pierce. I’m curious to see what is next and can’t wait for issue four out next month. There is a lot more potential for this, so hopefully, we’ll see it someday.
This week’s podcasts are from my time at When Words Collide in August. My guests this week are Joe Compton and Del Suelo – the later coming out later in the week. Happy Hallowe’en to everyone at First Comics. Stay out of trouble and/or don’t get caught. I’ll be back next week.