Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Ryan K Lindsay
Artists: Owen Gieni
Released: 8th July 2015
Don’t you just love a good curveball? There’s something deeply satisfying and rewarding about being caught off-guard by quite how good something really is.
Negative Space is a title of connotations – as I’m sure we all know, negative space is the space outside of an object, that defines its boundaries, so on title alone, it’s something of a sombre prospect. Then, you pick up the book, and there’s a heinous tentacle-and-tooth monster doing on the cover. Is there some kind science-fiction punnery afoot here? Do you mean vacuum, Mr Lindsay?! TELL ME!
*ahem* The answer is yes and no (and also, ‘pipe down, you lunaticl’, I imagine). It’s actually a surprisingly deft – if somewhat rather compacted – summary of what’s going on in the story, and whilst it’d be spoilerific to explain precisely why this is the case, suffice to say that all is not as it seems in the world of our protagonist Guy. There’s also tenderness to the writing that deals with the nature of depression and suicidal thoughts, what could potentially be seen as a rather delicate subject handled with a flourish that neither belittles, nor creates melodrama.
As for the art, there’s a beautiful, dream-like quality to Gieni’s gauche visuals – it immediately becomes clear why he meshed so well as Leila del Duca’s colourist on Shutter, the two have an incredible penchant for gorgeous dreamscapes. As a story-teller in his own right, there’s some fascinating panels that evocatively capture a man who’s trapped in his own life. It’s all meticulously paced, as well, reflecting Guy’s slow but steady ascent out of the pit he’s dug himself.
The cliffhanger ending is a bit of a nut-punch, given quite how well the book is going at that stage, but they’ve got to get you coming back next month somehow, don’t they?
Overall, this is a surprisingly affecting study of depression, masquerading as a fascinating sci-fi tale. Part 1984, part The Truman Show, and thoroughly enjoyable, this well worth picking up if you’re after something completely different for your pull list this month.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24