Wrongfully accused of murdering a fellow comedian named Carl Dixon, Syd Homes continues to evade the law in an attempt to find the real killer and clear what’s left of his half reputable name. If this series has taught us anything, it’s that you’re only as good as your reputation. Dying is Easy #4 is a fantastic entry into Joe Hill and Martin Simmonds’ whodunnit series that brings things full circle as we see Syd fight for his life. This book is such a great example of when life gets tough, you don’t just sit around and let things happen to you — you get up and do something about it.
The cat-and-mouse storytelling mixed with the gritty realism of the artwork makes this a climactic issue that will have readers excited for the final book of the series. We learn two things about Syd, our main protagonist. One, it’s a good thing that he was a homicide cop because he’s better at investigating than telling jokes. Two, he’s got a sweet spot that we get to see during a hefty conversation late in the issue between him and his ex-wife. The book is also filled with great moments that have come to make this an awesome series as well, including action, suspense, humor, and some serious moments.
In terms of the art, the first few pages are a lot of fun. I’d highly recommend humming Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” while reading them to give it some extra sound effects. The remainder of the book slows down the tone from the beginning and feels a lot more personable for Syd’s character. The amount of panels, and positioning of the characters really sell the moments very well. Simmonds really knows when to flesh out the emotional detail in the facial expressions of people. He would make an excellent film director in addition to being an amazing illustrator.
Dying is Easy #4 is a well-written and amazingly illustrated comic that makes you want to root for Syd in his quest for exoneration. This has been a great whodunnit story and hopefully we see Syd get justice in the final issue.