Comics can be amazingly astute when it comes to capturing the teen experience. Charles Burns’ sublime Black Hole (surely one of the greatest comics of all time) and last year’s Sloth by Gilbert Hernandez offered strange and distorted tales of alienation, young love and the end of innocence. Here David Lapham, creator of Stray Bullets, treads similar ground as murder, death and madness enter the lives of 16-year-old Mia and her younger sister Stacey.
As they investigate the past of their new stepmother, a prank call spirals out of control and insanity visits their home in the small town of Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The black and white art brings a grainy realism to Lapham’s world. The characters are fleshed out and utterly believable, and the villain’s struggle with his inner rage and psychotic urges is handled with subtle style. A haunting and enticing marriage of narrative and imagery.