Eric's 12 Guage Comics Review: LOOSE ENDS #3
Published: November 4, 2011 - 10:58pm
Updated with new sample images: While it can become confusing at time, Loose Ends #3 continues to showcase some of the most beautiful and engaging art on comic shelves right now. As the miniseries nears its end, attention to detail and a slow approach to narrative makes for an efficient and satisfying read.
The structure of these comic reviews usually consist of discussing the writing first and, then, covering the art. This will not be the case with Loose Ends #3 as the issue belongs to artist Chris Brunner and colorist Rico Renzi. Much of the narrative is handled by this team and it's hard to fault it. The visuals are both unique and beautiful with an unparallelled amount of detail and dramatic flair. The wild and colorful look is more akin to Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas than anything in the comics medium. Each panel has several things to say at once, which lends itself well to a story that weaves itself seamlessly between past and present with an omnipresent drug-induced stupor. From the very first page, viewers look into a hotel room. The reflection of city lights can be seen on the page and, at once, the reader is pulled into the world in a type of perverse immersion that heightens the intimacy of the scene. The audience is a random bystander in the crowd overhearing a conversation or taking a look into an open window for a bit too long.
Most of the time, it's not what the story is, but how the story is told that makes it a worth while read. The execution in this case is exemplary. Besides the more psychedelic and/or introspective pieces, the comic transitions with flashbacks to the protagonist's time in Iraq as a soldier. As a veteran, it was nice to see the amount of accuracy put into these instances. From kids playing soccer on the side of the road, to an insurgent setting off explosives with a cell phone, and to a Burger King cup found on base, it looks as if someone either served on the creative team or had done an intense amount of research.
This mixture of timelines works well to create the rich story with which Jason Latour is working. This is a tale that's not just about what's going on, but how the characters got to that point. Everything that's going on in this crazy southern mafioso story is grounded in itself. It gives them all depth and emotional resonance as they go about their glamorous, but miserable existences. He's not verbose, yet uses each word efficiently used to great effect. He allows the environment to build itself and, then, lets his actors react within that context. It's a laid-back approach that sets a fuse to explosion at certain times. The only problem with this method is that so much of that context is visual and, thus, up for interpretation. This means that things can get a bit confusing at times (which might be the point given the drug and alcohol content. It's also hard to see the mini-series ending with just one more issue, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.
Story: Jason Latour
Art: Chris Brunner & Rico Renzi
Cover: Chris Brunner & Rico Renzi
On Sale November 9, 2011!