Thursday, May 17, 2007

Local #9

I just read Local #9, which came out this week. Wow, that was such a strong issue. I've enjoyed all of them, to varying degrees. This one delves into Megan's history with her mother, and really defines a huge part of what motivates her through the whole series. It ended in a quietly stunning panel that wrapped in conflicting emotions. There was doubt, hope, loss, love--all brought together in one panel by the course of word and visual through the issue. It all felt very real to me, too.

Ryan Kelly's art has been a huge draw for me in this series. While reading #9 the quality that the screentones bring to the images. They add a lot of texture. In the past i thought of them (nearly subconciously) as a fast-and-cheap technique. For the first time i'm thinking they're completely legit, like crosshatching or shading.

Oh yeah, it might be helpful to say a bit about what Local is about! It's about Megan, a young woman who has hard time finding her place in life. This manifests itself most obviously in her moving to a new town every year (more or less), often adopting an entirely new identity at the same time. Each issue takes place in a different town in North America. Kelly uses a lot of photo references (many sent in by fans) to make the locations authentic. That's where the "local" comes in.

So, each issue is a self-contained story, but read together, they make a bigger tapestry. This issue works by itself. If you only ever read this issue, you'd get a whole, satisfying story. In addition, if you've read other issues, #9 illuminates Megan's life in a deeper way. Neat, huh? ;)