Like That

Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2006
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Like That Creator(s): Patrick Rills and Allen Gladfelter
Publishers: Icon Studios
From: USA
Price: $6(US)

An evening with the lads goes awry when relationship problems come to the fore. Reed wants to let his current girlfriend down lightly as he doesn’t feel up to a relationship at the moment; his friends think he really wants the complete opposite. As he thinks things over his feelings we see snippets of how the relationship has developed and get to understand his feelings.

Nothing tempts failure more than comics that try and deal matters of the heart: dialogue can turn to daft mush if care isn’t taken. Readers can accept anything an alien might say cause we don’t know what to expect, but we all what sounds heartfelt. Patrick provides characters that sound just right to me. The dialogue is goofy but not laboured. The characters get their feelings across in a sympathetic matter.

The predicament that Reed finds himself is depicted in a clever way via a series of flashbacks triggered by simple events in Reed’s day, building up the details of events, as Reed and we get closer to the truth. Time shifts are a well-heeled story telling technique, but the way little things trigger recollections makes for a nice domestic tone for the story, insuring the emotions on display aren’t overblown.

The interaction between Reed and his friends flow well, even though one of them is a bit of a git. The cliff-hanger at the end left me satisfied – an easy resolution would have been shallow, they way Patrick leaves us means readers get to decide for themselves where things are heading, filling in the gaps that Reed has been unwilling to acknowledge.

The artwork poses a bit of a dilemma for me, as I suspected fairly quickly into the book that the panels were based on photograph, with ‘actors’ employed to portray the events. The clean line work and appealing look the pages have with their use of zip-o-tone was a plus, but the action often looks too static, with characters caught in mid action. The art of comics includes illustrating movement in a dynamic fashion, not capturing a brief moment in time. The only advantage to the photographic referencing being so strictly applied is that facial expressions on show are rich and dramatic.

In a Word: Revealing

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