When a comic comes with this warning:
WARNING: The publisher and creators can accept no liability for any distress, trauma or nausea caused by the upsetting imagery in this issue: readers continue at their own risk!
It really has to live up to it or otherwise you may as well go read Adventure Time. Deciding to take my sanity at hand I decide that it’s worth the distress, trauma and nausea plus after a bad dose of the flu over the weekend, it can’t be worse than that.
And Then Emily Was Gone has been til now an extraordinary comic which as I’ve said, has stood out in a glut of spandex clad superheroes and endless fantasy epics. The fact it can include scenes like the one below and it feels perfectly natural is wonderful and yes, it really is in David Lynch territory.
I do however feel at times that Lynch is making stuff up as he goes along which is fine and I adore Lynch, but it at times leaves his narrative disjointed which is something Lees and Laurie don’t succumb to. Yes, they’re more than happy to have odd wee scenes but there’s an overall feeling that if they don’t add to the plot, then they aid with the characterisation which is the case here as Helligner continues to see strange apparitions and creatures.
It seems that Hellinger’s ‘filter’ is broken and he can see ‘the world of the screaming’ which means these visions are real.
Right now there’s a feeling of real, creeping dread as this is going somewhere and that somewhere ain’t going to be nice because it’s now clear the island of Merksay isn’t a nice place, nor should I say much more in terms of plot because it’ll spoil things but I’m not going to be eating sausages for a wee while.
Did this issue cause me distress or nausea? Well a wee bit of the latter, but it’s more a sense of unease. The best way I can describe it is that feeling you get just as someone is about to tell you something awful but they haven’t went into detail as to what it is yet, so you know something bad is happening but not what it is yet. It’s that horrible sense of not knowing which drives this book and it uses that feeling of unease brilliantly.
Sadly the series is nearly over but I hope to see what this team can do again in the future if they maintain this quality, assuming of course the climax is of the same quality as the series as a whole.