Tyler Boss and Matthew Rosenburg, the creative team behind Four children enter a bank, come back together for a story of angst, music and gang violence in the apocalypse of What is the farthest place from here # 1. With letters from Hassan Otsmaine-Elhaou, this opening chapter is a unique and brilliant fusion of youthful rebellion and apocalyptic despair. With mysterious storytelling, out-of-the-ordinary characterization, and stunning visual direction, Boss and Rosenburg probably have another absolute wonder on their hands.
âThe world is over. Only bands of children remain living among the ruins. But Sid thinks there must be something more. When she disappears into the wasteland, her gang risks everything to bring her home. A story about the things that matter most: your survival, your loved ones, and your record collection.
Writing and plot
Tyler Boss and Matthew Rosenburg’s joint storytelling effort makes for a singular comedic read with What is the farthest place from here # 1. Post-apocalyptic stories are so popular and prevalent in all media that it’s hard to imagine how new and unique can be created. Boss and Rosenburg respond to this problem with a perspective, style, and tone unlike any other story in its genre. Our protagonists are a group of punks known as “The Academy. “ Their main enemies are the other rival gangs in the neighborhood and the idea of ââgrowing up. This opening number sets up a fair amount of mystery for the future. We don’t know how the apocalypse started, or why these “kids” (who appear to be in their late teens or early twenties) are so afraid to grow up. These are secondary concerns, however. What matters most is what these characters do with the spell given to them.
Boss and Rosenburg were keen to stress the importance of music in this comic book series. Hell, the âDeluxeâ edition of each issue comes with a 7 â³ vinyl with tracks selected by the creators. Branding each individual’s personality through a record they pick from the record store where they take shelter is such a punk move for teenagers and comics. The recording choices serve as a backdrop to the character’s actual personalities. Each member of the Academy has their own quirks and concerns which are naturally resolved by the interaction between themselves and with their enemies. Boss and Rosenburg create these characters with such a distinctive voice that it’s impossible not to feel the tone of every moment. There is an inescapable attitude this book has that is so damn rad.
No wonder, the artistic direction of Matt Rosenburg in What is the farthest place from here # 1 is just as cool as the plot construction. There’s so much to unpack in the character design, settings, choice of colors, and direction of the panel here. First of all, the very nature of this comic book concept demands a list of easily recognizable hooligan survivors. Rosenburg & Co. delivers. The characters are inked and drawn with impeccable detail to bring them to life. The Academy as a whole looks like the same people you see in your underground punk / hardcore / metal hall. Considering the music Boss and Rosenburg admit to listening to when creating this comic, this visual choice makes a lot of sense. Each alternative hairstyle pairs well with ripped jeans, fishnets, ripped tank tops and olive-colored cargo jackets. Ah, I can smell the ACB and American spirits.
The real treat in the visuals of this comic is its direction. There is no adhesion to a specific panel structure. Really, in this regard, it’s relatively standard. However, it is clear that the intention was simply to use as many panels as needed to get the job done. Close-ups on important details that we will need to remember are offset by sometimes long conversation pages. The changing perspectives of different people in a conversation, or even panels focusing on a group as a whole, really create a sense of place and noise in the setting.
There is a party scene in the record store where everyone in the party is shown even though the dialogue only focuses on two or three characters. Rosenburg and Boss pay the attention of the whole group, though only a couple move the tale forward. It actually made me feel like a Robert Altman movie, where so much is happening and the setting is full of noise, which makes the comic come alive.
Colors and lettering
The coloring (with the help of Claire DeZutti) is tonally rich and varied from scene to scene. There is a sort of flat tone on every page, but it changes drastically in every setting. The record store has a constant red tint reminiscent of a film development room – or even more appropriately, the backlight of an underground room. Each surface appears in its own right and each panel looks like an alternate album cover. Hassan Otsmaine-Elhaou’s lettering is distinct and perfect for this comic. There is a definite sense of hand drawing in the font and how vibrant it is. The text in the word bubbles flows with its size and bold changes in a way that is difficult to describe without experiencing it. Every aspect of the art in this comic is absolutely top notch and is an extremely cool piece of creativity.
What is the farthest place from here # 1 is, in my professional opinion, an absolute kick out of a comic book. Boss and Rosenburg are two creators at the peak of their storytelling creativity and this issue shows it. A mix of The Warriors, Mad Max, and the sensitivity of My Chemical Romance’s Dangerous days, it’s an incredibly cool mix of styles and mediums in comics. Be sure to grab this comic when it becomes available on 10/11!