With the collected edition of ComixTribe’s And Then Emily Was Gone currently available on ComiXology (and the printed edition due to follow in a couple of weeks on 11th February), I figured now was as good a time as any to recap what I thought of the series as a whole.
However, rather than condensing my thoughts into one smaller summary review, I thought it might be a better idea to present my individual reviews of the five separate issues again in order to give a fuller picture of what was undoubtedly one of my top series of 2014.
ISSUE #1 REVIEW – CLICK HERE
“At the time of this first issue’s original release on the local convention circuit, Lees was indeed better known for his award-winning superhero series. However, as has been proved repeatedly over the past year, horror is perhaps John’s strongest suit, and his gift for building tension and slowly peeling away layer after layer of increasingly disturbing tension is on full display here. He sets out his stall masterfully in this opening issue, introduces us to the main characters and the underlying premise, then leaves us on about as emotional and speculation-inducing a cliffhanger as you could possibly imagine.”
ISSUE #2 REVIEW – CLICK HERE
“Overall, there’s a definite sinking sensation to this title, a feeling that we’re being sucked deeper and deeper into a world of complete and utter darkness, and this feeling is only enhanced by Laurie’s uniquely disturbing artwork. There isn’t a single person here who looks ‘normal’ or ‘innocent’, with everyone and everything appearing grotesquely over-exaggerated like the product of some bizarre fever dream. There are a lot of intriguing characters being gradually developed by Lees here too, and the more we find out about any one of them, the less comfortable we become.”
ISSUE #3 REVIEW – CLICK HERE
“Iain Laurie’s artwork in the first two issues was undoubtedly of his usual high standard, but I always had the sense that he was perhaps holding back just a little in order to ensure that the story and the aforementioned sense of dread weren’t overshadowed by his trademark style. Well, Laurie fans can rejoice, because at around the halfway mark of this particular issue, the SICBA-nominated artist takes his foot off the brake off and proceeds to put together one of the most dizzyingly bizarre and utterly engaging dream sequences I think I’ve seen in any comicbook, complete with claustrophobic panel layouts, disturbing metaphorical imagery and lashings of the distinctive Laurie brand of grotesque.”
ISSUE #4 REVIEW – CLICK HERE
“In issue four, things go from ‘deeply unnerving’ to ‘stomach churningly nauseating’ over the course of just a few pages, featuring some of perhaps the most gloriously grotesque artwork that I think I’ve ever seen spew forth from the pen of artist Iain Laurie – which, if you’ve seen a lot of his other work, is most definitely saying something. I’m not going to spoil any of the reveals, mainly because I wouldn’t know where to begin even trying to describe some of them, but Laurie is at his absolute best here, cramming his panels with teeth, tentacles and god knows what else.”
ISSUE #5 REVIEW – CLICK HERE
“Therein lies the innate appeal of this series, though – this isn’t normal, this isn’t just another horror comic, this is nothing less than a nightmare brought to life by a creative team working together in perfect unison. Lees’ haunting dialogue, Laurie’s unmistakable visuals, Megan Wilson’s gloriously muted colour palette and the slick, professional lettering of Colin Bell all combine here to make something truly special, a comic that deserves to be seen by as many wide, shocked eyes as possible.”
And if that’s still not enough Emily for you, make sure you check out Ross’ exclusive interview with creators John Lees and Iain Laurie, where they go a little more in-depth about the creation process behind this stunning series.