Young Liars #12
By Zak Edwards
February 17, 2009 - 18:23
If Young Liars was canceled today and no new issues were ever printed, this ‘final’ issue of Young Liars would be very disappointing. As I discussed with my last review, Young Liars seems to be experimenting with serialized fiction, almost mocking it at times. This issue is no exception. Where twelve issues is generally the point where a book has finished a year and perhaps a complete, overarching story, Lapham has just continued to mess with his readers. While this discontinuous narration filled with a ton unreliable narrators and characters may be frustrating, the book is one which demands attention and concentration. It’s not there to entertain as much as be art, and art it is. At this point, I would like to remind you this book is one which may not be for the littler comic book fans as it contains violence, drugs, sex, profanity, and many other things which could be considered inappropriate.
Spoilers Present Below: You Have Been Warned
With a mere two pages, writer/ artist David Lapham manages to kill, revive, and completely discredit the series primary protagonist and narrator, Danny. The rest of the issue seems to attempt to confuse that credibility and finally finishes off with a fairly conventional ‘ending,’ of sorts, which really makes a reader question what they have been reading for the past year. And really question it, the whole thing may be a lie. The series seemed to escalate to extreme absurdity quickly in the past couple of issues, but that ends on page one while the next three pages depict Danny having a discussion with a psychologist about his giant hallucination we have come to know as “Young Liars,” during which he hangs upside down from a tree and walks through a pond without seeming to notice. So I think it’s all a dream, the hallucinations of a crazy person, which could be argued quite convincingly. But like any lie, there seems to be holes in reality’s story. For example, how does Danny know people who were in his story when they do not recognize him outside of his apparent rock star fame? He seems to know them much better than they know him. And why does Loreli look so much like Sadie and she has no idea who he is. All in all, this argument is fairly weak, but it’s just my thoughts initially on Lapham’s ending to the first volume, which seems to just be starting rather than ending. Besides this, Lapham has some great moments in Danny’s narration, like when he comes home and equates his arrival to that of a reality television show about “fat people who get skinny” or Danny’s ultimate confusion between and blending of Sadie and Ceecee, which seems to bring together many parts of the book together in creepy and confusing ways while still not fully explaining anything. If I was one for closure, “Young Liars” would frustrate me to no end. Confused? yes, enjoying every minute of it? you bet your ass!
And Lapham’s art is the only one that could keep up with what he’s doing. Every page is working within his eight-panel structure I remember him referring to as the most cinematic for his style in the paratext of the first volume of Stray Bullets. But because of the constant variations, it is hardly noticeable and certainly not repetitive. The issue is devoid of flashy multipage splashes, but this makes sense, Lapham is telling a story not fixiated on putting a bunch of superheroes against each other, his is very much a drama of human lives, no matter how crazy it gets.
9/10 Four out of five on the impressed scale, five out of five on the confused.
Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53
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