Off the shelf — Mind the Gap Vol. 1: Intimate Strangers

mind the gap cover

Nutshell:  Mind the Gap is the kind of damn-near perfect comic series that makes you want to stop random people on the street and shout “read this!  READ THIS!” But orange jumpsuits and straight jackets aren’t my kind of fashion choices.  Writer Jim McCann and artists Esquejo and Oback come together and really deliver the goods.  Have I said read this yet?  Because really; read this. Grade: A+

Story: Ellis Peterssen is out of her mind.  I mean literally.  She was in an accident and is now in a coma.  But in-between life and death she’s able to see what’s going on around her body, and she can move around to try to figure out what happened and why.  But she’s not the only one in-between.

Thoughts: Everyone has a series or graphic novel that they keep meaning to read, but never get around to; Mind The Gap was mine.  No longer.  Intimate Strangers hooked me from the get-go, with its combination of suspense, mysteries (can’t say it’s just one) and characterization.  MTG is a rare bird; the kind of story that anyone can get into and enjoy.  Plus, there are cliffhangers and WTF moments that must have driven issue-by-issue readers absolutely batshit while they waited for the next piece of the puzzle.  I almost feel guilty enjoying the ride in one chunk.  Almost.  But then I got to page 158, and here I am right with everyone else.  NOOOOO!  Don’t leave me like this!  [Note: not to worry, as Volumes 2 and 3 are also available.  Sweet.]

Speaking of enjoying, there’s the art in here. This is the kind of art I talk about when I say “the art in this book blew my ever-lovin’ mind”.  Because the art in this book blew my ever-lovin’ mind.

Rodin Esquejo is brilliant.  His pencils are damn near perfect.  Put him together with colorist Sonia Oback and her amazing shades and shadows?  Damn y’all.  (Adrian Alphona on #4 from 5-21)  Just…well, just look at the cover for #4.  Very Art Nouveau.  And unlike a lot of other stories out there, what you see on the cover is exactly the kind of quality you get on each page.  Amazing.

Extras: Variant Gallery with on-art attributions (#2: hello Francesco Francavilla!), Rodin’s concept sketches, teaser art for Vol. 2.

Subscribe of Shelve: Definitely grab this series up if you haven’t already.  It’s a title that should be on everyone’s pull list.

Publication 411: Collects Mind the Gap #1-5.  Hit shelves 10/30/2012

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