Review – All the Places in Between (Liminal 11)

Publisher: Liminal 11
Writer/Artist: John Cei Douglas
Release Date: 29th April 2021

“There are empty spaces that must be respected, those often long periods when a person can’t see the pictures or find the words and needs to be left alone.”Tove Jansson, Fair Play.

Sometimes with a comic it can become all too easy to lose yourself in the dialogue, falling into the habit of reading rather than seeing what’s on the page in front of you.  Not so with All the Places in Between, a wordless meditation on anxiety, loneliness and mental health, on sale today from Liminal 11.

Peaceful at times and frantic at others, cartoonist John Cei Douglas takes us on a sprawling journey across oceans to faraway lands alongside our unnamed protagonist as she struggles to find direction and purpose in an increasingly confusing and isolated world.

It’s powerful stuff, surreal at times and open to personal interpretation, and Douglas shows an impressive mastery of sequential storytelling throughout.  Subtle notes of repetition and creative framing choices keeps the pacing interesting, and while the overall effect may vary from reader to reader, Douglas manages to throw in enough interesting and thought-provoking metaphor to ensure that everyone is going to take at least something away from this book.

Whatever way you absorb Douglas’ impressively open narrative though, there’s no doubt that this book’s release could definitely be considered timely, particularly given the widespread mental health issues that have been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are all too commonplace, and this release perfectly encapsulates that gnawing sense of loneliness as we follow our unnamed protagonist on her journey.

Douglas has been open about the inspiration of this book coming from his own experiences with mental health, and his desire to try to communicate how it can feel to struggle with these sorts of feelings.  That authenticity really shines through here, and the openness of the narrative combined with some truly striking visual beats make this an easy book to recommend.

With previous release The Garden already impressing me back in 2020, Liminal 11 are carving out an impressive niche as a “mind, body and spirit publisher” with something to say.  Boasting a captivating, wordless style that encourages the reader to imprint their own experiences on the story, and delivering an ultimately comforting and uplifting message, All the Places in Between is a thoroughly impressive debut from Douglas, and another solid addition to Liminal 11’s growing comic book catalogue.

All the Places in Between is available for pre-order now on the Liminal 11 website.

The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter

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