Obsessed stalker Jared Close has just been released from prison after a six month stint, and now finds himself on the business end of a restraining order from Hollywood starlet Kerry Amos as a result of his unsettling actions.
Unfortunately for him, the first thing he does upon his release is pay a visit to the object of his “affections”, only to witness her being murdered. Naturally the blame falls squarely on Jared, and with a potential death sentence hanging over his head, he finds himself desperately trying to stay a step ahead of the authorities and prove his innocence.
Close is a bleak and unforgiving story about a bleak and unforgiving world, and had me absolutely hooked from the first page to the last. It’s a real challenge to make an obsessed stalker into a compelling protagonist, but it’s one writer Chris Sides embraces with gusto. Yes, it’s frustrating to see Jared being unjustly caught up in this particular situation, but while there’s a certain level of sympathy caused by these unfortunate circumstances, Sides makes sure to remind us throughout that his leading man is still far from an innocent victim.
Chris Travell’s artwork is drenched with shadows and scratchy lines, helping to beautifully emphasise the pitch black tone of the story. There’s more than a hint of Michael Gaydos at play here, and while there isn’t an overabundance of action per se, Travell does a fantastic job conveying the emotion and tension on the faces of his various characters.
Without delving into spoiler territory, because you really need to pick this one up for yourself, the conclusion of the story takes the form of a desperate race against the clock, with a denouement which fits perfectly into the aforementioned bleak and unforgiving style of the story.
Close is a tense, gripping and morally complex thriller which is every bit as polished as any comic you’re likely to find at your local comic shop this Wednesday. Highly recommended.
Close launches on September 22nd at Thought Bubble in Leeds. You can find Chris and Chris at Table 118-119 in the ComiXology Marquee.
However, if you can’t make it to Leeds, have no fear because you can pick up a physical copy of the comic from the Comichaus Website (CLICK HERE) or read it digitally via the Comichaus app (CLICK HERE).