In a year without live shows or in-person dates, Getting It Together was an almost nostalgic mix of rock band relationship drama. In this final issue, the creators take their ensemble cast modern-era relationship sitcom comic in a surprising but satisfying direction. After three chaotic issues of creativity and romance in San Francisco, the book is heading down the coast and focuses in as Laura leaves her past behind and moves to Los Angeles. This makes for a bittersweet finale for the miniseries, but it ironically serves as a good jumping on point for new readers.
Getting It Together #4 is mostly a solo story, as it follows Lauren, the former singer of turbulent but up-and-coming rock band Nipslip as she tries to start again as a solo artist in Los Angeles. After a meeting with an A&R person for a small label, Lauren gets another opportunity to open — this time as a solo performer. But the show is less than a week away, and she soon realizes that retooling Nipslip’s back catalog isn’t going to cut it, so she needs a new set, fast. The rest of the issue focuses on Lauren racing through her creative process as the show approaches while trying to find her footing in a new city.
The rest of the large cast isn’t entirely forgotten, however. There are a few scenes of Jack and Sam back in San Francisco, and a cameo appearance from Mai, who is in LA shooting a video, but this issue feels much more like a solo story compared to the previous books’ ensemble cast. This miniseries gave us three noisy issues about interpersonal relationships, but it is a fitting resolution for issue #4 to be a quieter piece focused on Lauren’s relationship with herself and her creative process. While she wasn’t my favorite cast member of the first three issues, I was compelled by her journey.
The other big change Getting It Together #4 presents is in the art. Co-writer Sina Grace takes over the penciling duties a few pages into the issue, and while the shift is subtle and doesn’t break the flow of the story, it is notable. Fine and Grace’s art styles are very cohesive, and Struble’s colors work well for both sections. The issue opens with Fine’s hazy colors and soft panel transitions, with the post-show celebration from the end of issue #3 still in full swing. Grace starts drawing with Lauren’s move to LA, and his layouts are more formally structured, as the colors pop against one another rather than blending together. The party has over, everyone has come down, and now it is time to get to work.
While I would have liked to spend more time with Jack, Sam, Annie, and the rest of the cast, stopping here feels natural. Lauren’s story is fun, with some new friends introduced and a new direction for the story to go should it continue. Like the lives of its twenty-something protagonists, the future of Getting It Together remains uncertain, but with strong issues like this, I hope we get to see a lot more from this team in the future.
Getting It Together #4 takes a risky but rewarding chance by getting out of the Bay Area and acknowledging the truth the characters have been running from the whole series: before you can connect with others, you have to understand yourself.
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