We’re four issues into a five-issue mini, so consider this a glowing recommendation of the trade, if you aren’t already on board.
This is my normal reaction to any issue of Lonely Receiver, and the fourth issue deserves it as much as the three before it. This issue, more than any other in the series, stands as the strongest collaboration the team has had so far, with the themes solidifying and being clarified for me all at once. It excites me and gets me ready for the finale while also making me sad to know the end is coming.
But first: LOOK AT THIS AMAZING COVER:
Jen Hickman has done an incredible job in the covers so far, but this one is up there with my favorite covers of the year. The intimacy of the kiss is erotic, but the lack of eyes is SO CREEPY. To feel that distance while engaged in this intimate moment is a stroke of genius. The way the faces bleed into each other is so perfectly unsettling in all the same simple ways that are constantly present in the book but magnified because it’s a giant statement. The simplicity, the colors, the creepy beauty — Jen Hickman is ridiculously good.
But I mean, they’re that good throughout the issue, along with Bowland, and Thompson. This issue is the perfect synthesis of the three, where the art tells more than the words. But the words aren’t ancillary — they add so much to each panel, which in turn add context and weight to the captions. As a series, Lonely Receiver tends to be caption heavy, and this is no different, but it never feels like a chore. It feels like real collaboration and teamwork, and it’s exciting to see. I hope this team works together again, and soon!
Now, something worth mentioning is connected to something I wasn’t totally sure of last time around. I thought that issue #3 gave off a bit of an anti-technology vibe, which I don’t think was unfair by any means, but after reading this issue, I realize it was shortsighted of me. That read of this series, while not being totally incorrect, is still oversimplifying the more complicated metaphors on intimacy and stimulation that this issue made more clear. I don’t think I was completely wrong in my thoughts about the last issue, but I was a little shortsighted. I’m also happy I was shortsighted because this is so. Friggin. Good.
As we draw the curtain on this series, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that this is one of my favorite and most significant comics of the last few years, and likely of the next few as well.
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