Writer: Matthew Erman / Artist: Lisa Sterle / Scout Comics
It’s hinted that something… beastly that lived in the woods found something else that struck its curiosity. This is something whose presence was felt back when Frances and Piper were two small children with dirtied faces and bare feet, running for their lives. Its presence is felt now in the present day as adult sisters sit trapped by the coming night and restless beings that makes themselves known, startling them greatly. Flashbacks are often seen as lazy in writing, yet I look forward to them Long Lost as they reveal to me that the past is not simply the past for the girls. Past memories tie into the current day so precisely that in a sense, there are almost parallels—that the two tiers of storytelling mirror each other. This is unsettling when we question what if whatever drove the girls away never really left them. It’s fascinating when the pages of flashbacks turn into the pages of current day and you get the feeling that Frances and Piper are possibly receiving a sort of homecoming… or even reliving one.
The third issue of Long Lost which acts as the third chapter of this story brings the girls back home on the cusp of town where the
welcoming party locals greet them and the creep factor gets turned up, alllll the way up. From zero to one hundred the girls are violently greeted by somebodies from the forest and I almost lost it. What really works here in this issue is the pacing. The first seven pages are where Erman diligently tries to wake the girls up from their sleepy, quiet break in their journey. After that? The drama is turned up and Sterle does a wonderful job illustrating the madness that seeps out from the woods. There’s imagery that makes you want to gag, full on expressions of terror that feel genuine as all heck, and a even more mysterious person who promises no harm will come to the girls from those she calls her friends.
The sisters have been told that they’ve come home at a strange time. Here, something is already in motion, prayers are already being answered and something else… lies beneath for how long, who knows, already taking root and itching to bloom. What continues to make Long Lost a comic I look forward to reading is that it sits at the intersection of “there is a monstrous thing that comes out of hiding little by little with every issue” and “I’m really trying to figure out how these girls live through trauma and what familial bonds they had to cut to stay sane“. I’m really, really fond of how integral Sterle’s art is not only to the atmosphere of the story but the overall look of the book. The black and white toned illustrations don’t come across as bleak or plain. They enhance the darkness in wait, the night that traps, and the visitors that bring demands and later, prayers. This is a really good look for the impact the sound effects have on scenes with action and the poetic lines towards the end that linger with purpose.
Curiously, this comic always manages to open and close in poetic fashion. I can’t seem to put it down once I’ve started reading it even when the panels showcase the weird turn of events that sprout up each issue. If nothing else, Erman and Sterle are taking their time carefully to balance the mood and the action of each issue and so far it is a satisfying reward to come back to as a reader.
8.5 Auger Stones and Prayers Out Of 10
Read our site’s other review of Long Lost here.
As a bonus, Erman and crew are curating a Spotify playlist to listen to when you read the comics. #TrueMultiMedia
Here is the Long Lost playlist, in which the Chapter Titles for each issue are taken:https://t.co/0aVq5aiVuN
— Matthew Erman (@MatthewErman) January 30, 2018
Does Long Lost look like something you’d be interested in? You can ask your LCBS to add Long Lost to your pull list. Here’s the preview code for the third issue: NOV171861. You can also order issues online here. You can follow the creative team, Matthew and Lisa, on Twitter.