I’m not going to hide behind the characters of The Junkman and Mikey this week, because And Then Emily Was Gone deserves better. I only have the first issue to review and it makes me want to spend $3.50 for each chapter of the five-part series. Quite simply, And Then Emily Was Gone is **beep**ing beautiful.
And Then Emily Was Gone is the story of a young girl who goes missing. Emily’s friend Fiona thinks it has something to do with the local legend of Bonnie Shaw, meant to stop misbehaving children. So Fiona goes to a former cop named Greg Hellinger for help. Fiona believes Greg sees things no one else can see. So Fiona and Greg go off to Emily and Fiona’s home on Merksay Island. Emily’s parents have an ornate box. Could it contain… Emily? I suspect not, since then there wouldn’t be any future issues.
The only real problem I had with the issue was the Vin and Louise segment. Was it taking place on Merksay Island or somewhere else? Maybe it will be revealed next issue.
Let’s get to the specifics. First of all, the writing. John Lees is clearly influenced by David Lynch, especially with Merksay Island (more than a little similar to Twin Peaks). But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. John keeps things going at a steady pace and makes you want to read the next issue, two qualities any writer should aspire to. Next, the art. Iain Laurie draws very ugly people. And that wouldn’t work if this were a superhero story, but in this case, it does. This is a very ugly story, whether or not something supernatural happened to Emily, or it was just the evil that humans do. Megan Wilson, colorist, and Colin Bell, letters, also do great jobs.
And Then Emily Was Gone is a beautiful, ugly story. It’s ugly because of what happened to Emily and what happened to a man named Frank (completely necessary in its brutality?). It’s beautiful because it will make you feel for the characters and the story just as much as any TV show or movie.