Jordan Crane’s new solo comic is a haunting meditation on life and death. The two stories in this comic discuss the passing of loved ones in a fascinatingly oblique manner.
In one, we witness an auto accident from the perspective of the person who was in the accident, and his fate is discussed only from a distance, using a kind of parable structure that I found absolutely fascinating. It took me a while to really grasp the final page of this story – why was everybody reacting in such an odd way? – until I took the time to really think about it.
Likewise, in the second story, there’s a character shown only in outlines, and it’s initially hard to figure out what the point is of that until we grasp that there’s something very seriously wrong. In this story, though, I got hung up on something that still seems confusing. A woman gets into an accident, and a police officer answers her cell phone. So why is her phone in her purse on the final page? This doesn’t really flow for me, and made the story feel awkward.
Crane’s art style varies tremendously between the two stories. The first story shifts back and forth through time, employing a sort of Jaime Hernandez style to great effect. Crane uses shading and detail to heighten the mood. The second story is looser. Backgrounds are less detailed, and characters have a lot more of a traditional cartoony feel to them. The shift in styles between the two stories is a bit jarring, and it wasn’t immediately obvious to me that these stories were entirely separate from each other.
These two stories have flaws, but the comic really repays extra attention. Since I read this comic, I’ve found myself haunted by these stories and the little mysteries they contain.