Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Andrea Sorrentino / Image Comics
The Faller of Trees
The final chapter of Gideon Falls’ first book is perhaps the best issue of the series so far. The incredible world building, compelling narrative suspense, and unnerving visuals are top-notch and executed perfectly. Each page is iconic, directed by Lemire’s stellar storytelling and brought to life by Sorrentino’s terror-inducing artwork. This a story that takes full advantage of the medium, and the deliberate changes to panel structure and format breaks the mold and challenges the reader in ways both subtle and overt.
The two parallel storylines between Norton and Father Fred dealing with the reality of the Black Barn continue to tackle the troubling and nebulous topic of faith. This notion of knowing a greater truth, of understanding there is difficult work to be done, has been the focal point of the series since the first issue, and this latest entry is a pseudo-midterm exam. Both characters go through the metaphysical ringer and the temporary conclusion to their arcs feels earned and appropriate while setting up the future plots. Lemire makes several notable decisions when it comes to his storytelling mechanics, which just serves to further distinguish the book from its peers.
And let me reiterate once again, Sorrentino’s artwork paired with Stewart’s colors is one of the visually most stimulating and stressful experiences I have reading comics, and I absolutely adore the direction and general aesthetic. This recurring visual mechanic has done so much work over the last few months and still causes heart palpitations. It’s wonderful.
Whether you’ve been following the series from the beginning or if your ears perked up after the announcement of a TV adaptation, Gideon Falls is a must read comic. The uniquely sharp psychological horror blended in with wonderfully contrasting images of urban and rural landscapes makes this one of the best comics of 2018.
9.8 “Doorways” out of 10
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