Review by: Fugmo

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Price: 2.99

What is there left to say about Young Liars that hasn’t been said before? Well a lot,really. It is a bit of a red headed step child of the Vertigo line and has been clipped over the ears plenty but no one has tried too hard to understand it lately,So for what its worth,I’ll give it a shot.

I first hopped aboard Young Liars after a few issues had come out.I bought the first issue on my lunch break at work,read it while eating and all I could think about afterwards was buying the rest when I clocked off.I was hooked on the adrenalin rush of the cynical characters getting into messed up situations,the unhinged quality where it felt like it could fall apart any second.And then,in a way,it did all fall apart.

At first I was dissappointed.The linear structure was in tatters.This was the issue where Sadie escaped the spider planet.It was like David Lapham had just dumped all the old story out to go on a very silly tangent.At first I thought maybe it was a dream sequence,which would be lame but meh,hopefully it would be back to normal the next week.It never did go back to normal though.Not really.I’m really glad it didn’t too.

What I realised as the weeks passed was that Lapham was doing something far more brave than any other writer in the Vertigo line up.He was treating his characters and concepts like Lego blocks,building structures then tearing them down to reshape them week after week for the pure joy of seeing what new constructs he could make.Each issue he allows us to watch him build his new stories from familiar pieces,often left stunned by what he can pull off.His flawed characters are engaging and he isn’t shy about exploring the dark corners of human behaviour. I’ve often been caught off guard when a new element echoed one seen in a former issue but was approached from a new angle to add complexity to the whole concept.I think it is missing the point to expect all this to add up to a straight forward story.What we are given instead is a post modern approach to story telling which,once you can let go of traditional expectations,is quite fascinating in how loose he can keep the reference points while still holding together a cohesive experience.

In  issue 17 Lapham once again jumbles the pieces and re-forms them to give a new vision of this world he has made.It is a continuation of an arc started a few issues ago….he tends to give a little stability over an arc before he again reshuffles the deck and builds another house of cards.As per usual it is bleak and dramatic,full of double crosses and betrayals.

I suppose in a way I understand why people don’t want to get too involved with a book that always seems to be in a state of flux.If he can change the rules at any point,what gives it any set value? I think to a degree there are limits to how far he’ll push things and again he uses familiar pieces to explore these stories.It’s kind of like thinking about a character like Batman….after having stories of him told across different media by many different people,with versions being set in alternate realities even, there is still a core that writers keep coming back to.I think Young Liars has a definite core.

I’m going to miss this comic when its gone.I’ve been enthralled watching as Lapham spins out new threads from the centre of his web,weaving an elastic story in a way few writers have the skill or guts to do.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good

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