AICN Comics: ELK’S RUN #3Joshua Hale Fialkov: Writer Noel Tuazon: Artist Hoarse and Buggy Productions : Publisher Vroom Socko: Just here to ask a few questions
Let’s get one thing straight right away. In a week where I picked up comics by Gail Simone, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, and Matt Wagner, (to say nothing of the latest kickass issue of FABLES,) this issue was hands down the best book of the week.
I suppose a bit of background is in order. This story is about a kid named John who lives in an isolated community in West Virginia. John didn’t know just how isolated they were, or even that there was a purpose behind it, until one of his friends was killed by a drunk driver. The driver, John’s next door neighbor, was sentenced by a town vote to be dragged from his home in the middle of the night and have the rear tires of a Buick parked on his chest, after which the townspeople would do their best impression of Rubens Barichello. John, of course, sees all of this.
AAll of that was in the first issue, as seen from John’s point of view. Issue #2 was the same event, along with some backstory, as seen by his father, John Sr. Both of those issues were brutal, hard, and a hell of a lot of fun to read. In part three, we see the continuation from the point of view of Sara, the mother of this charming little family. And with that, we also see the story move from being a fun, creepy horror book to potentially cracking into my list of the 25 greatest comics stories of all time.
It’s been two days since the drunk was executed, and the latest shipment of supplies is on its way. Unfortunately, the truck is late. Also unfortunately, a pair of state troopers has just shown up on Main Street. It seems the out of town relatives of the drunk have declared him missing. So Sara takes it upon herself to show the two cops the town, while her husband figures out just what to do with them.
What makes this issue work is its minimalism. There’s no captions, no internal narration, just Noel Tuazon’s art telling the story. The tension just builds with each page, until the final two pages hit, with the nastiest moment to date. What I especially enjoyed was seeing how Sara reacts to her situation. Her facial expressions, her body language, all of it tell her story better than any narration could have.
If you can manage to get your hands on all three issues of this book, I say do it now. If, like most locations at this point, this series is sold out, then you’re in luck. Speakeasy, the book’s new publisher, has a solicitation this month for an omnibus edition of everything published so far, with a sweet looking Darwyn Cooke cover. This is one series you shouldn’t miss.