I used to read a ton of web comics, but since I started reviewing books here the web comic reading has slacked off. There are several reasons, lack of time to go looking for them (yes even though I bookmark them!), liking to read a chapter of a story in one issue sized chunk (or trade sized when available) and well…really the biggest problem for me is that you get a page every other day, my head doesn’t keep the beat of the book very well that way. So even though TOLB updates on the Monday Wednesday Friday schedule that has become fairly common for web comics I find myself waiting (not so) patiently for the treat twice a year when Messrs Gallagher and Ellis is release a full issue of The Only Living Boy.
I received just such at NYCC! They released issue #3!
But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, for the uninitiated TOLB is the story of Erik Farrell, a boy who fell asleep in Central Park and awoke in a patchwork world with none of his memories. The world he finds himself in is full of creatures and dangers, but also beauty, and the possibility of friendship.
I’d give you the “previously…” blurb from inside the book to get you situated in this issue but like most things about TOLB Gallaher and Ellis do it too well…
Every one of the pages above is available on theonlylivingboy.com in the web comic (starting with the issue #3 cover here). I’m sharing them here as an incentive to you all, check out this book. Read the webcomic, buy it in print. This is excellent stuff.
Erik is a character I can totally identify with. In issue one he’s running, we don’t know why but you just know from the fear and desperation it’s something big (or something he sees that way). We’ve all been there running just far enough, trying to figure out what to do next. Erik’s journey takes him a little further than most though. After he wakes in the “other” world he’s still the same kid, no miraculous change in his personality or abilities, just a boy lost in the wilderness. But as time goes on we see this kid begin to take on the situation he’s in, begin running towards stuff (even danger) and not away. Take away all the beautiful art and the sci-fi fantasy setting what you’re left with is the story of a boy’s journey to man. And unlike many stories I’ve seen try it they’re pacing it well, it’s exciting and fun, but not rushed. This story should be recognized as a classic.
I mentioned taking away the beautiful art? Yea let’s not do that. This panel blew me away in issue 3,
That is one beautifully rendered mysterious stranger! And as you read on he stays just as well drawn, just as detailed. Man.
And the writing is spot on as well. I mentioned Erik slow rise from child to man and it’s present in every beat of the story but they don’t rush him along, like in this exchange,
This is one of those books that need to be talked about and shared. Read the webcomic. Then buy it and share it with the kids. You won’t be sorry.
The Only Living Boy – the webcomic: start with issue #1
Buy The Only Living Boy on comiXology (issues 1 & 2 are available now #3 will be available 10/22)
Check out The Only Living Boy on Facebook as well!