COMIC REVIEW: And Then Emily Was Gone #2

After the much deserved success of its first issue, Comix Tribe invites us to re-enter the twisted world of And Then Emily Was Gone.

Former Police Detective Greg Hellinger is still on the case of the missing Emily of the title with local girl Fiona in tow. The story becomes even creepier than the first issue as we are exposed to the remote Scottish island of Merksay and its assorted ghoulish denizens.

The whole feel of And Then Emily Was Gone is like a slice of Lovecraftian horror shot through the head by Clive Barker. Lurking in the corners of rooms and the inside of the Hellinger’s mind we encounter unknowable horrors living alongside supporting characters that thrive on violence and sadism.

After setting up the story threads in the first issue, the plot begins to come together as connections are made between the main players and the secondary characters. We discover that the horrible pair of killers for hire that at first appeared to have no link to the main narrative, do have a very significant role to play. Having cutaways to scenes off the island adds to a growing sense of impending doom and does not diminish the claustrophobic feel of the story’s main setting.

There is the potential for many spoilers here, particularly as we finally find out just what is in the box that dominated issue one’s cliff-hanger. I will avoid discussing them so not to rob you of any surprises.

Writer John Lees is having tremendous fun setting up this world, particularly a scene in which Hellinger and Fiona visit the local pub whose patrons obviously know more than they are letting on. There are various archetypes here that inhabit most horror tales of this kind, including a suspicious boarding house keeper, but this is very much part of the fun and Lees makes them work together very well.

Series artist Iain Laurie is the other half of this very satisfying creative partnership. It is very difficult to imagine any other artist that could bring this story to life. Laurie is obviously dragging whatever horrors from the back of his head to render them onto the page in his own unique style.

The final panel is not as strong a conclusion as issue 1 but is still an intriguing cliff-hanger to make you want to read the next instalment.

This is a solid issue which makes And Then Emily Was Gone a series to continue to watch.

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Title: And Then Emily Was Gone #2

Publisher: Comix Tribe

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: Matt Davis @DecadentGent

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