Behind Yesterday #1

What Did I Learn?

behindToday’s review is on Behind Yesterday (Part One) by Joseph Badon. It’s about an older man named Henry Johnson who has committed a serious crime. We aren’t given a lot of information on the crime but it’s the kind of thing that will send you to jail for a few decades or more. And it’s not that simple as guilty or not guilty, according to Henry.

And what does someone do in that situation? The options are basically surrender to the legal system or try to outrun them, right? Well, Henry can’t do either and after a little swet time is given another option. His brain is transferred into a younger man’s body – it’s called cerebral transference. His old body will be found lifeless by the police and he has been given a new identity. In this way, he can out his past behind him.

But it’s not that simple. Henry’s past still continues to pursue him with a lot more of unknowns. Total strangers know him and hint ominously at his uncertain future. As I read it, I could see how maybe the two options Henry avoided would have been better options. We’ll have to see how the next parts evolve the story.

Let’s talk about the art for a minute. As you can see from the partial page sample image, it has sketchy, crosshatched lines and puzzle shaped panels. These things add nicely to the unsettled feel of Henry’s situation. It’s almost like you can’t see the whole picture and you’re not quite getting all the details. Even the muted colors overlap the outlines which adds to the effect (aside from the strong reds, that is.)

I also liked the wide variety of viewing angles and framing. Some are closeups that focus on the eyes, some the whole face and all the way out to setting shots. Interestingly, most of the backgrounds are vertical in nature. Perhaps that is because most of the action takes place in one city or another or maybe it’s a theme that also adds to the weight of the story. A wider, sweeping view often provides a calming feel whereas a more cramped, tighter view naturally makes you feel uneasy.

What Did I Learn?

This comic making thing is just not a set things up and then knock them down – it can’t really be reduced to a formula. Every technique you choose and every one you discard weighs against the whole. You can even shift some parts of the chosen style to new things as the story unfolds. This is just the first part of a ‘thriller noir sci fi’ comic, so there is plenty of room for the story to grow and take some other turns. This review was written from a review copy, so I can’t show you the comic itself but Behind Yesterday is available for sale in various places through the creator’s website. Even as I was trying to be as spoiler-less as possible, you can see there’s a draw to the story.

ArtPatient

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