Writer: Matthew Erman / Artist: Lisa Sterle / Scout Comics
What’s the first word to come to mind after reading the first issue of Long Lost? ‘Haunting’ would be a good answer. ‘Intriguing’, another. ‘Terrifying’ could work too. ‘Odd’ is likely waiting to be used as well. This issue opens to a memory of the past: two young girls running, sisters we find out, escaping something awful, something dark from a long time ago. A time skip reveals one of the sisters, Piper, as dreary, tired, someone who hasn’t been home in a very, very long time. Whatever has happened in her childhood has left her disconnected and very possibly estranged which sheds light on her overall disposition and avoidance of even phone calls from her sister. Erman paints a tale that makes you want to keep turning the page to see what happens next, slowly sinking you into the story.
Sterle’s art is a comfort with its black and white toned pages. Aesthetically, I’m loving the art. This look really picks at the nostalgia well in me and calls to mind comics in an anthology or even a zine, those comics you adored and read them till they were tattered copies. Her lines are clean, simple and get the job done. She can handle illustrating the cutest of four-legged creatures like dogs for example and not so cute things that might make you run for the hills. The absence of much color with the exception of a certain scene truly enhances the story, suggested something wicked this way comes. Something lurking, something obviously unwanted yet pressing closer and closer.
I have to hand it to husband-wife duo, Erman and Sterle here… they’ve got the atmosphere down for this book. It’s difficult to create and maintain an unsettling feeling for a story that fits the horror genre without overdoing it. Long Lost is eerie with surprisingly small moments of joy that you wouldn’t expect. This issue ended and I was staring at the last pages in disbelief, clutching my pearls. It’s not often a first issue invokes such a strong response from me. It’s not very often I’m this much emotionally invested the first issue in. Together the creative team has crafted a comic that has just the right amount of terrifying visuals, just enough backstory, and just enough intrigue to make you hesitate and look behind your shoulder while reading.
I read that a tagline for this series is “What secrets hide beneath your flesh?” On the surface, this comic looks to be a story of a lost girl with not much direction, or light, but as I kept reading I discovered the comic set us up with a girl running from something. Piper’s running from something that doesn’t just hide in corners, but very possibly, it’s something that’s been with her the entire time. Long Lost just may become the sleeper hit of 2018. Stay tuned for my review of Issue #2 next week as we play catch up for the release of issue #3 coming January 31st.
Long Lost #2 came out on the 27th and we saw multiple counts of people not being able to find the issue. You can order it online via Scout if your LCBS didn’t get any copies.
Most importantly, MAKE SURE THEY ORDER IT!
Issue #3 is out January 31st!
DIAMOND CODE – NOV171861 pic.twitter.com/QpumoTo0s5
— Matthew Erman (@MatthewErman) December 28, 2017