“Mind the Gap” is one of those comics which, superficially, does everything right to entice new readers. First, it's thick – 46 pages, in fact – yet carries the price tag of a comic half its length. And aesthetically, it's beautiful. From the moment you open the cover, it becomes obvious the artistic team has put a lot of time and effort into the visuals. It makes an excellent first impression – and this became even MORE obvious when I realized, during the fifteen minutes I browsed the shelves on new release Wednesday, almost all the issues of “Mind the Gap” that HAD been there when I walked in were now in the hands of customers.
Once you get passed the “superficials” - and I refer to the low price, the amazing artwork and the high page count as superficials simply because they're the first, most obvious things you'll notice – you enter into a story which I can only describe as a “supernatural mystery drama”.
It's hard to talk about “Mind the Gap” without getting into potential spoilers, but it follows three main story-lines: (1) Elle, a young woman who was attacked and is now in a coma (and who's having a sort of “out of body” experience as a result), (2) her friends and family, and (3) the mysterious – perhaps even supernatural – figures who seem to either be setting certain things in motion, or orchestrating certain events.
The writer takes pains to include little details, which he even explains later on, like how you can look at the time on the clocks and watches in the background to see how much time has elapsed during the first few pages, and how almost everyone in this story is a potential suspect in Elle's attack, including her own family. Usually, I'll take this kind of thing and scoff, because if the writer has to explain it, then it probably wasn't done too well. But not in this case. I believe “Mind the Gap” is on an entirely different level, and Jim McCann is saying, “Here's a freebie.” He's not going to spoon feed us like other comics; sure, we can join him for the ride, but he's also allowing us to take the wheel and drive ourselves, using the detailed and intricate map he's laid out for us. He even writes, “I can tell you this – the attacker has been named in these 46 pages. Now to start looking for hidden clues as to WHO it is! Keep your eyes open for more Easter eggs throughout the series.”
This was the perfect first issue for “Mind the Gap”. The story was well-paced and introduced a lot, and needed those 46 pages to do so. And the low price made the comic more enticing to readers, like me, who may have otherwise passed it by. I don't know if the creators spent a lot of time debating this or just wanted to put out a good comic, profits be damned, but hopefully it will pay off for McCann and company. I, for one, will be returning.