Mr. Vertigo Reviews 110: What’s the Furthest Place from Here? Vol. 1 – Getting Lost at the End of the World; Cover Vol. 1

What’s the Furthest Place from Here? Vol. 1: Getting Lost at the End of the World
Tyler Boss & Matthew Rosenberg, storytellers; Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, lettering
Image Comics, 2022

This is a dystopian tale, although it’s not obvious at first. We just see a small group living in a record store, which we later learn is a family called the Academy. It’s after curfew, but their friend Slug shows up at the door. He’s a grown-up (which means age 16), so that’s not supposed to happen. Then they see another family (who wear cartoonish pig masks and are called Big Business, because their home is a former bank) in their territory after dark, which is a violation of the neighborhood pact. Not to mention the Strangers, who do not look quite human, and are apparently in charge. Slug says he went into the wastelands and found “everything.” So, the mythical City may actually be real.

Slug disappears, and the young (and pregnant) Sid goes after him, which sends the whole family on a mission to find her and bring her back. They soon find themselves in conflict with several other families, and when they finally return home their building is on fire. They head for the Market (which they think is another mythical place, until they find it, at the site of the former Boston Market). From there they go to the Bold Folks Home, a former retirement home. Eventually the Academy winds up at the Carnival, where they must face Judgement Night. The Academy is disbanded, and most of the family are sentenced to join other families. But their leader Alabama is sentenced to life with the Keepers, who mostly look like adults. Sid is alive after all, and is about to give birth in the final scene.

A strange end to the world, but with plenty of colorful complications, and more mysteries than answers at the end. Boss’s artwork is simple but effective, aided by his wild color pallet.


Cover Volume 1
Brian Michael Bendis, writer; David Mack, artist
Dark Horse Books, 2022

Collecting a DC Comics series from 2018-19 (and inspired by David Mack’s work for the U.S. State Department as a cultural ambassador), Cover posits the recruitment of comic book creators for intelligence and counterintelligence gathering, facilitated by their travels to comic book conventions all over the world. It all begins with Mack at a convention in Detroit (it’s a recognizable self-portrait, but the character’s name is Max Field). A new fan named Julia surprises him by purchasing a lot of expensive original art, even refusing to accept the discount he offers. He keeps bumping into her, even when he gets invited to Istanbul, Turkey.

She finally admits that she works for the C.I.A. He is being recruited, with his attendance at the show as his cover (although the show is very real). His job is to give the Turkish President a gift when he meets him…and so it begins. The comic book creator cover is working so well that the C.I.A. finally creates a Brazilian convention just to get Max and another creator back together. This compilation is called “volume 1,” but it feels complete (although the possibility of a sequel is dangled at the end).

Bendis and Mack have a long creative history together, so their collaboration feels completely natural. Mack draws both of them into the story, though Bendis is less central to it. The series was Mack’s first turn at interior art in a monthly comic book in some time. It’s probably not a story that would have worked with the painterly approach he takes with cover art. So his interiors are more minimal, with more of a cartoon style and plain backgrounds. His painterly style comes out in dramatic moments, and in the pages from his work in progress that periodically break up the main narrative, especially his big hit Ninja Sword Odyssey (with a style that recalls classic manga like Lone Wolf and Cub, as well as his own series Kabuki). He gets chances to stretch out into other styles as well–like detective noir and science fiction–making this a visual treat for Mack fans.


About marksullivan5

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