(W/A) Rich Tomasso
It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind romance. It’s easier to get caught up in trying to keep your loved ones near you at all times. It’s harder to keep your sanity together when your lover goes missing. This is the basic plot to Rich Tomasso’s Dry County. Please note, this comic covers explicit topics such as sex, drugs, and violence. This is the only warning that will be provided before I go on.
Dry County takes place in the 1990s with a 21-year-old named Lou Rossi. He’s the creator of a comic strip for a newspaper in Florida and seems to find himself in a rut. When he meets a woman named Janet, he falls in love with her and begins a relationship. One day, she gets kidnapped by someone from her home and it’s up to Lou Rossi to find her with the help of his friends and Janet’s friends.
This comic left me with a dry feeling in my mouth. I didn’t feel any fear or panic when Janet was kidnapped, and I didn’t feel any sympathy for Lou’s reaction against raves. Honestly, I barely felt anything for the characters. They weren’t bland or humorless, but they didn’t leave me with enough zest to find any appeal to them. The only characters I liked the most were four German girls and Rob as they had odd opinions about sex and alcohol. Lou is a clever guy when it comes to trying to find Janet. But even as he goes on this journey, Janet remains elusive in terms of her personality and presence in the story. She is merely there as a plot device. It irritates me that Tomasso didn’t take enough time to flesh out other characters besides Lou. Tomasso should have focused on maintaining a balance when creating a character and using them for a plot.
The plot was decent enough. There are some parts that don’t make or add up. To make a good mystery, there needs to be some amount of intelligence within all of the characters. Tomasso was able to flesh Lou and Janet out when it comes to how they’re integrated into the mystery itself. But all of the characters and plot devices didn’t have a purpose. The German girls were merely there for one reason only and characters related to Janet didn’t have enough layers. Plot points could have been changed to be more intriguing and the story became slightly random. There were a few intelligent points Tomasso placed when it came to Lou’s comic strip, Janet’s access to communication and the use of background events.
The art saved the story with its bright colors and shiny shading to the background and characters. It was a reminder and homage to the 90s pop art styles. With its iconic design and hidden themes, I enjoyed every panel from start to finish. While the panels couldn’t stand alone, they were able to give different scenes a purpose. I liked how Tomasso’s story took place in Florida as I was able to see the state for what it was instead of a tourist trap. The backgrounds were simplistic yet appealing to my eyes. They might not be for everyone due to its level of simplicity, but it’s still a nice treat.
Dry County did a good job with the story when it came to the art and background. Even though the mystery lacked some intelligence, there were a few good points where I found myself saying “ah-ha”. Some characters were really funny to see, but they only came for a few moments. I’m sure if the story was written from the German girls’ perspectives, the story would be even more intriguing. To get more information about Dry County, click here for more information.