Young Liars #3
By Zak Edwards
May 26, 2008 - 01:22
David Lapham returns to the present day in this issue, after the origin story last month that saved this series from becoming just another piece of attempted shock value. While last issue did bring a series that had too much potential for over-the-top self-destruction down a notch, this month Lapham gets the antics of the present day story moving full-tilt. A warning for all readers, Young Liars has drug overdoses, transvestites, fairly graphic violence, and strong language. So, as with all titles from Vertigo Comics, mature readers only.
This month Lapham, after a brief glimpse back into the past again, launches back to the moment left off on in the first issue. Readers are reintroduced to the characters from before fairly gracefully, with Lapham avoiding a “this is so-and-so and he/she does this, remember?” approach. Instead, he tricks readers into thinking they remembered these characters all on their own. A minor point, maybe, but these graceful re-introductions help keep the plot moving forward at a good pace while giving the audience a clear sense of direction. In fact, this issue is just plain well written. The pacing is works, the characters are tangible, as are their interactions. The only part that doesn’t sit right is how the main protagonist Danny kills multiple people and is yet to have any police after him. Multiple homicide is something that cops usually want to have a handle on, but believability is not exactly what Lapham is trying to accomplish, rather life just off the edge is where Young Liars dwells. Even the characters may not be exactly people an individual knows, but rather they are each people know of people knowing, an almost secondary degree of relation to them and their predicament. It is a spectacular niche and while I had initial doubts about this series Lapham has written and drawn a great book that exists just off the edge, occasionally falling to both sides of being believable and extreme.
There are great individual scenes that display Lapham’s ability to keep a reader interested and guessing. An off-panel gun blast raises alarm and questioning on Danny, a character who was the most stable of the group. Through a few quick pieces of dialogue, Danny is falling farther and farther away from the innocent boy of last issue, with good reason. Another great quick scene is in the hospital where Lapham uses crazy, amoral Sadie for a much needed comedic break. While everyone else is still reeling from the effects of both a drug overdose and and two different groups trying to kill them, Sadie is dancing in the background exclaiming “I’ve got the Happy feet.” The scene works so well, keeping the extreme nature while allowing for a sigh. The final page works so perfectly, it is hard to describe. It acts as a bridge to the past issues and what ever is up ahead while deepening the relationship between Sadie and Danny. The issue closes with a need for next month to arrive sooner.
A great part of David Lapham’s art is the “Where’s Waldo” of music. Appearing on T-Shirts, signs, and part of plots, Lapham scatters little musical tidbits throughout the issues. Appearing this issue are, and I’m probably missing some, Ted Leo (who is apparently God), Lou Reed’s album “Transformer,” and folk-punk pioneers Violent Femmes. Lapham is increasing my music while providing an action-packed, adrenaline filled adventure contemporary recreation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” The art works for Lapham’s story, being high energy when needed and focusing on the expressions from characters in the slower scenes. Danny looks subtlety older in this issue from the origin issue, noticeably different in appearance without a dramatic change, the same is achieved with Sadie. Lapham’s art coincides with the tone he is trying to achieve.
9/10 Doubts about Vertigo’s changing line-up of books should be forgotten with Young Liars
And as a side note, in my review of the last issue of Young Liars, I stated that I wish this series came with a soundtrack. It was brought to my attention that it does, right next to the credits on the first page. It’s labeled “Danny Duoshade Recommends.”
Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53
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