Well, it’s been a while since I wrote a review. Christmas, New Years, a man-flu of epic proportions, I have a tonne of excuses. But mainly it is because I just haven’t found a comic that I felt I needed to share. Regular readers may note that I do not write negative reviews. I treat this space more as an opportunity to share comics I’d like you to read rather than list books you should avoid. So a book really has to excite me to motivate me to put words to virtual paper. All my regular Pull List titles are great and firing on all cylinders but some of the titles are ending and I’m looking for some new books. I had a chance to read Jeff Lemire’s Gideon Falls #1 from Image last night and this is going on that aforementioned Pull List right away.
Gideon Falls #1 opens with two parallel stories which, I assume, will eventually intersect. Father Wilfred is a priest that we find being assigned to a new parish in the small town of Gideon Falls. Given his reaction to the assignment from his Bishop, it is obvious there is a backstory to Father Wilfred that peaks your interest and creates the expected curiosity in the reader that this will be explored. The previous pastor of Gideon Falls, Father Tom passed away after serving the community for over 30 years but the exact nature of his passing is also a mystery to be revealed later. When Father Wilfred arrives at the church he is met by Gene Tremblay, who has some specific title and role in the church but is really just the lady that assisted Father Tom with the day-to-day tasks. More mystery building as she becomes very distraught when Father Wilfred inquires about Father Tom’s passing.
The second story in Gideon Falls #1 revolves around Norton, a former resident of a mental hospital (can you still say mental hospital?). During a session with Norton’s therapist, we learn that Norton collects bits of garbage while constantly wearing a surgical mask. We delve into his psychosis and find that these are very specific pieces of junk that call to him. Norton is cataloguing and mapping the location for these items that his compulsion drives him to collect. He, of course, feels that it is either God or the Devil that is pushing him to track these items.
The issue ends with a bit of a cliffhanger that I won’t spoil but Gideon Falls does exactly what a first issue should. Sets the stage and environment for the story, asks more questions than it provides answers and drives your curiosity mad. So crazy that you’ll wish Gideon Falls #2 was sitting right next to you on your pile of comics, ready to be devoured. Jeff Lemire is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers. His depth of storytelling intrigues you and this book is far from the only Lemire title I’m reading. The book also doesn’t have a specific writer and artist credit, rather it states the book is “by” Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino indicating a collaborative approach to the story. Jeff and Andrea worked together on Old Man Logan as well as issues of Green Arrow. Andrea’s art is fantastic with evocative angles, detailed photo-reference backgrounds all adding to that mystery vibe. Dave Stewart’s colours, using a less defined black line just heaps more mood on the page. It is simply a beautiful book that appears very complex in both story and art.
So yes, this one is going straight onto the Pull List at my Local Comic Shop. Look for it when it is released March 7th, 2018.
Issue: Gideon Falls #1 | Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire | Artists: Andrea Sorrentino & Dave Stewart
Lettering: Steve Wands | Variant Cover Artist: Jock
Price: $3.99 – 32 pages