Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Iolanda Zanfardino
Artwork: Elisa Romboli
Release Date: 3rd November 2021
Set for release next week from Image Comics, A Thing Called Truth reunites the Alice in Leatherland creative partnership of Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli for a chaotic road trip adventure, and I am absolutely loving what I’ve seen so far.
After an eyebrow-raising cold open, this first issue introduces us to workaholic scientist Magdalene Traumer as she stands poised on the brink of a scientific discovery that could change – or perhaps even save – the world. As readers of their previous Black Mask Studios collaboration will expect, the creative team work together seamlessly to establish Mag as a likeable and relatable protagonist from the early going, showcasing her flaws and challenges in a disarmingly charming way.
This opening chapter takes its time setting things up, establishing the significance of Mag’s discovery and the somewhat chaotic nature of her (almost nonexistent) personal life. Somewhat predictably, we then see her whole world come crashing down around her, prompting her to hit a local bar to let out some long-suppressed energy in the form of a bender of truly epic proportions, before waking up hungover, miles from home, in the back seat of her own car with a strange woman at the wheel. As you do.
Given how much I loved Alice in Leatherland, it’s perhaps no surprise that I enjoyed this first issue as much as I did. However, rather than merely retreading old ground, this new series gives Zanfardino and Romboli the opportunity to showcase a few more of their impressive creative skills. As you can see from the preview below, this is a far more dynamic artistic style from Romboli, which helps to give the story a truly cinematic feel while still retaining the same expressive character work that made Leatherland such a cracking read.
Narratively, Zanfardino gets to add a new string to her bow with a slightly more serious approach (drunken bender aside), including car chases, shady corporate shenanigans and a story that has the potential to encapsulate a lot more than just the relationship between our two leading ladies. That said, the relationship between Mag and her as-yet-unknown road trip buddy is still likely to take centre stage, and rightfully so, as we get to find out more about them and just where the heck they’re headed.
A strong start from a must-watch creative partnership then, blending the same expressive artwork and charming character work of Alice in Leatherland with a far more dramatic, energetic and action-packed story. Zanfardino and Romboli are a team you really need to keep an eye out for, and this is a new series that you need to add to your pull list right away.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]