Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Graphically Speaking… Mind the Gap Volume 1: Intimate Strangers, a Review

Sometimes it's nice to take a little break from my more "serious" reading and open the pages of a graphic novel. Not that graphic novels are "light" reading, because some of the plots are just as complex as my "normal" reading, but I suppose they can be more like picture books for adults.

Recently I saw Image Comics letting reviewers download a graphic novel called Mind the Gap Volume 1: Intimate Strangers by Jim McCann. What struck me first was the cover, which I thought was stunning. So, I had to take a peek at the rest. I never heard of the author, Jim McCann, but learned that he had won an Eisner award for an earlier work called Return of the Dapper Men. The Eisner award is like the Pulitzer for Comics, so I was up for reading the story…

It starts out with some girl getting a phone call from her BFF, but the connection is lost. Girl tries calling BFF back with no answer, so girl call's Bff's boyfriend, who has no idea where she is either and decides to presumably go to where BFF lives to make sure she's ok. Then the scene cuts to people (Mom, Dad and Brother), getting phone calls that BFF has been hurt and is in hospital. Come to find out BFF is Elle  Peterssen who is beautiful, from a wealthy family and in a coma because someone tried to kill her on a subway platform in NYC. But everything seems a little suspect. The family doesn't seem very concerned and the circumstances are strange. Even the medical staff at the hospital seem a little off. And better yet, Elle plays a part in all this because even though she's in a coma, her spirit is hanging around, trying to remember. And so the story starts to unfold…

And it's a great one! Everyone is a suspect, and there are secrets, strange alliances and hidden agenda's. There's a reason Elle was attacked and she's determined to find out and save herself before the person can finish the job. Her BFF wants to know too, AND one of the doctors that got pulled from the case because she was asking too many questions wants to know what's going on. The paranormal take is so interesting too. What does happen to a person in a coma? Is there a place in-between life and death? That's what "The Gap" is here, but where Elle is, is for comatose people waiting to either go back into their physical bodies or move on. She has some great conversations about that with what appears to be her "host". AND, Elle has a special gift… she can slip into the body of someone who is just about ready to move on to the afterlife and communicate with the living for just a bit.

My final verdict? One and a half thumbs up! The plot is interesting, and I love that Elle is hanging around trying to solve the mystery too. The characters are developed well and we get a feel for them and what makes them tick. The artwork is nice, but a bit stiff, meaning that I don't "feel" the emotions so much from the characters visually. The story is what makes me want to read more, because I really want to know WHO DID IT! But I'm going to have to read quite a few more issues…

Mind The Gap Volume 1: Intimate Strangers is a trade paperback that collects issues #1 - #5. The story is up to issue #17 now, with some question on the series continuing because of a bit of a hiatus. Issue #16 came out in December of 2013, and then 5 months later the next issue came out with nothing since then. Usually, issues are published monthly. BUT, with the publisher releasing, or kind of re-releasing, the first issues for reviewers to share, I think Mind The Gap will be starting a regular run again. It figures I have to read 12 more comics now to catch up, but if you wanted to give this a try, I've read that issue #16 is the beginning of a new storyline and a good place to start reading. They supposedly do a recap so the reader will be familiar with the characters and take it from there.

Into mysteries? Like a little paranormal with your tea? This series should satisfy your hunger.


Nikki in Niagara said...

I downloaded this last night! Glad to see your great review!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Nicola!
Yes, enjoyed it so much! I hope you do too!

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