Friday, September 04, 2009

Last Comic Day: Young Liars

The absolute best comic of this year and last is, without a doubt, Young Liars. As an artist, creator David Lapham delivers pages as only a veteran of the form could, with a transparent ease of telling a story with pictures. From its large cast and ever-increasing plot expansion ludicrousy, its all there on the page. As a writer, Lapham has raised the bar to a level I didn't think was still around in comics. Young Liars takes a relatively simple premise and eclectic cast and completely fucks you over when you least expect it. Not since the early days of Y The Last Man was I so enraptured with plot twists and cliffhangers. But with Young Liars it's not just the twists, it’s the out-of-nowhere destruction of the book's core foundations that not only entertain immensely but make you wonder how anyone comes up with this shit. I've had occasion to fare well with storytelling and the written word myself, but reading Young Liars makes me wish I was that good.

Alas, Young Liars has come to an end with issue #18. Lapham notes this was well ahead of schedule, hinting sales could just not support the book's continuation. This is very sad considering the competition. I think we should consider ourselves lucky he got us this far, and a few trade collections were warranted. As a package Young Liars is still an incredible read, I would recommend it to any (adult) reader. I'll remain grateful to Vertigo and Lapham for what we did get to read, as it will be marked as one of my all time favorites. If there's anyone to be upset with it's all the people who didn't pick up the book.

Seeing as how Young Liars was actually a finite story (also noted by Lapham), perhaps the only real loss in ending pre-maturely is "what could have been." What crazy-ass shit was Lapham going for? How could he have possibly turned the whole series on its ear yet again? He had already done so at twice (maybe thrice depending how you look at the master narrative), so that questions what in fact is the true fiction of the Young Liars world presuming there was at least one more twist in store.

Maybe you stumbled upon this post having not read Young Liars. Please do-- go pick up the first two trades (and hopefully the last third soon enough). Enjoy it. Revel in it. And by all means look forward to what Lapham has up his sleeve for next time.

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