By Night, Issues 1-4, by John Allison

My affection for John Allison's comic Bad Machinery is the kind of love that makes all of Alison's other titles (of which there are quite a few) feel like a letdown. They're fine, but they're mostly spin-offs or prequels or also-ran adventures—pale imitations of the story I'd prefer to be reading. But that has changed with the publication of By Night, the first non-Bad Machinery story of Alison's that I am equally excited to read.

By Night takes place in Spectrum, South Dakota, a near-dead company town whose founder, Chet Charles, disappeared without a trace twenty-five years ago. CharlesCo is finally closing, which means Spectrum is officially on its last legs. Two former high school BFFs—cheerily irresponsible Heather and risk-averse, levelheaded Jane—decide to give their childhood bond another shot when Heather convinces Jane to sneak into the abandoned company headquarters with her. Their nighttime adventures take an unexpected turn when they discover a hidden movie theater on the property... and a projector that opens a portal to another world.

Allison knows what he's doing. I am totally invested in the By Night characters, their world(s), and the plot. The jokes, dialogue, and pacing are beautifully suited to Christine Larsen's clean, cartoon-y style and vivid character design. Out of the three comic series we've reviewed recently, this is the only one that feels like it was meant to be a comic book, and was written by someone with skill and experience working with the format.
Posted by: Julianka


29 Apr, 2019 09:40 PM

Interesting. Although I rarely read comics, but I liked these. I usually read regular books like these and on paper :)

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