The creators of Wyrd are back this week with a new four-issue series called Lost Falls. Curt Pires and Antonio Fuso tell a tale of a detective who wakes up with no memory of how he got to a small town called Lost Falls. It’s a dreamlike narrative that will have you feel waves of unnerving dread, contemplative mystery, and disturbing horror.
Lost Falls is an intriguing start because it’s very good at feeling entirely new, yet also seems to connect to some deeply iconic works. One might have visions of Twin Peaks, a David Cronenberg body horror feature, or even the 1967 British avant-garde science fiction TV series The Prisoner. Its opening page drops you into a nightmare that’s beautiful, as we see a man in a suit with a bouquet of blue flowers for a head, a dark cave, horses running, a blonde girl, and our protagonist running from something with his head made of shadow. Pires and Fuso are tapping into something that feels very dark and naturalistic, which is typically where the best horror lives.
The scene then cuts to a raging waterfall and our main character waking up in a green forest at the bottom of said waterfall. The first 22 pages are drawn by Fuso, who instills a haunting quality to everything. The angular pencils define environments and even faces like a distinguished set of harsh realities they embody. In one scene involving a drug dealer, Fuso draws the faces deep in the shadow under the cover of night that turns their faces into something a bit monstrous and unnerving. It has an effect, not unlike Jeff Lemire’s style as it can be a bit disturbed in its simplicity.
Paired with Lee Loughridge’s expressive color choices, the book has a dreamlike quality. The opening with the protagonist, who goes by detective Daniel Pynchon, is green and hopeful, but when he enters the town it’s smoggy, cast in yellow. There’s a coldness present thanks to the color choices, like the grayish blue of the night or the tans in Pynchon’s room when he tries to use his cell phone.
The last 14 pages are drawn by Pierluigi Minotti, who has a slightly more abstract quality to the pencil work. There’s a little less detail and work within the shadows of the face. These scenes help define a second protagonist and the artist change seems to suggest we’ll be tracking two characters along the way.
The narrative can feel a bit confused and jumbled at times, and although this may be on purpose, it’s hard to gather if that’s the case. There is lost time between scenes that require we not know what is going on, but visually it’s limited on information to know for sure how it ties together. Considering there are four issues to the story, however, it’s likely I’m simply overthinking it.
Letters by Micah Myers are clean and are allowed plenty of space and positioning since word balloons and captions are limited in themselves. Hand-drawn sound effects by Fuso add a different dimension than your conventional superhero comics which are far cleaner. The hand-drawn lettering in the opening page is exceptionally well done and matches the dreamlike quality of the art.
Lost Falls blends multiple elements together well for an intriguing start to a series that feels familiar, but all its own. It has monsters, a mystery, social commentary, and the always interesting small-town politics.
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