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Mazebook #1

by Steven Leitman 9 months ago in comics
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Dark Horse Comics

Mazebook #1

Dark Horse Comics 2021.

By Jeff Lemire

A lonely building inspector still grieving the loss of his puzzle-loving daughter receives a mysterious phone call one night from a girl claiming it's her and that she's trapped in the middle of a labyrinth. Convinced that this child is contacting him from beyond this world, he uses an unfinished maze from one of her journals and a map of the city to trace an intricate path through a different plane of reality on an intense and melancholy adventure to bring his daughter back home. The only way out is in . . .

This is striking for a myriad of reasons and chief among those is that it is simply one of the more powerful stories you are going to read. For the longest time while I was reading this I thought that Will was starting to suffer from Alzheimers, I still think it may play a part but the further we get into this story the more depth there is to it than that. There is something almost hypnotic about the way that this is being told. We see what’s on the surface but you can also see what’s under the surface it isn’t as obvious but it’s there kind of like a weak reflection you see out of the corner of the eye. The way that we see this is really rather stunning.

I absolutely adore the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development is utterly phenomenal. The dialogue, the narration, how he acts and reacts to the situations and circumstances he encounters all work magnificently to flesh Will out into a character we know or at least can relate to. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages introducing us to the story, Will and the world he lives in we're captivated.

How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story begin to emerge, grow and strengthen we can see just how strongly this is being written. What I love about the layers here is the central theme and how the different avenues open up and start to see just how much depth, dimension and complexity there really is behind everything we’re seeing. How everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably achieved.

The interiors here are pretty interesting. How we see this sweater and the idea behind it is something I can totally relate to because I had one just like it. Not the colour scheme but the oversized sentimental value sweater that had seen better days. I also like what it represents in this story as well so it’s kind of a big deal. The linework is fantastic and how we see the varying weights being utilised to create the detail work throughout the book is phenomenal. The colour work is great and alongside the linework it creates some beautiful imagery. That we see backgrounds being utilised the way they enhance and expand the moments as well as work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope is exceptionally well done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling.

There is so much more going on than what we see on the surface. It is incredibly intelligently told with some smart characterisation and some decidedly lovely interiors that takes this to a new level of storytelling you won’t expect to see. Jeff is an amazing storyteller and honestly there isn’t anything he’s done that makes you think, engages you in some new and innovative ways. If there is one book you want to get that isn’t on your list then this most assuredly has to be it, heck just pick it up regardless, because it is going to blow your mind.

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About the author

Steven Leitman

Just me talking about the comics I enjoy reading, ones that you might not know exist and spotlighting the indie creators that excite me.

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