And Then Emily Was Gone is the new comic from publishers Comix Tribe. This is a company I was unaware of who in their mission statement grandly say that;
ComixTribe.com, is a new website and online community for comic book writers and artists. This site will feature quality content and resources for creators serious about improving their craft.
ComixTribe’s mission is simple: Creators helping creators make better comics.
The grand vision of what ComixTribe will become is extremely ambitious. The ultimate goal is to make ComixTribe a premier online community and resource for comic creators serious about improving their craft.
It’s ambitious stuff. Even an old cynic like myself who spent years in comics retail, distribution and publishing can find himself inspired by that tagline, even if it’s the sort of ‘inspirational’ management guff that sets my teeth on edge. But what about And Then Emily Was Gone?
What made it stand out for me when browsing through Comixolgy’s new releases was the splendid cover and it’s intriguing synopsis;
And Then Emily Was Gone is a dark horror-mystery that tells the story of Greg Hellinger, a man who sees monsters. A former detective driven to the brink of madness by terrifying apparitions, he is tasked with finding a missing girl called Emily. Hellinger’s search takes him to a remote community in the Orkney Islands, where strange and terrible things are happening
So far so interesting. I’m getting a The Wicker Man feeling and that drew me in. Having a look at Iain Laurie’s art made me want to part money for it as it reminded me of Gilbert Hernandez mixed with Francisco Solano López, but how does the entire package hold up?
Well, it’s good. There’s some amazing panels right out of William Burroughs, which seeing as most new comics are full of sub Jim Lee tracings of people in spandex is refreshing to see.
It becomes clear early on that the protagonist, Greg Hellinger, is an alcoholic suffering from the sort of visions one gets if you drink an awful lot on a daily basis. Greg was also a ‘famous policeman’ which is why he gets a mysterious visitor from the Orkney Islands telling him the story of Emily, and the fable of Bonnie Shaw, the boogyman parents on the islands used to scare their kids. Shaw itself looks like a cross between Rawhead Rex and Wayne Rooney.
It’d be wrong to judge what is the first part of a five issue crime/mystery/horror thriller series only on one issue and I’m not going to do it. I will say And Then Emily Was Gone is a refreshing change from the mass of mainstream comics which are firmly in the superhero/fantasy genre, though it does suffer from characters not talking like real people which is a problem for many a writer, not just in comics.
This is a good first issue, with some stunning art that raises this above your standard title of this type, though I’m unsure how many mainstream comic readers will appreciate it. I hope plenty do.
I’ll be back next issue to find out where the story goes, and of course, I need to see how the cliffhanger resolves itself……