CAN MONSTERS AND HUMANS REALLY CO-EXIST?
Many mythologies have merged reality and monsters. Sometimes it gets a huge following like The X-Files, Twilight, or Lord of the Rings. Then there are those that never really take off. I invite you to enter the latest offering from Vertigo comics, Border Town.
Border Town tells the story of Frank, a teenager adjusting to a new life in Devil’s Fork, Arizona. As I previously had mentioned there is indeed monsters within the book but they’re not really the stars of the book. Don’t get me wrong they exist and have some scene stealing moments. The real star of the book is the miniature arc you experience with the titular character Frank. Through him, the reader is introduced to some seriously heavy topics like racism and bullying.
Writer, Eric M. Esquivel, does a terrific job at creating a compelling narrative which tackles heavier issues. At the same, creating just enough mystery and tension with the book’s monsters to cause readers to come back for me. Whether you’re new to town or to a school, a lot of people can relate to the fact of being new. It’s a terrifying experience for anyone to be in. Esquivel creates a reliability factor with this book that few books on shelves are doing now a days.
THE RAW AND REAL NATURE
When it’s added to Ramon Villalobos’ art, this book is untouchable. Villalobos creates an artistic environment which harking back to the early days of Vertigo books. It’s raw, emotional and vibrant. The color pops in such a way that acts like love at first time. There’s also a realistic depth to the art as well.
Overall, Border Town has all the makings of a book that could gain the legacy of The Sandman, Swamp Thing & other Vertigo titles. It’s fueled by a compelling narrative, mature themes and terrifying mystery that gives you enough to satisfy but also leaves you wanting more. While the writing is compelling, it is indeed matched by brilliant, realistic and raw art.
FINAL SCORE: 10/10
More importantly, if you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, depression, self-harm or addiction, please feel free to reach out, use any of our resources, call the suicide life line: 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741.
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