"Crossing #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Red Stylo Media
Written by Enrica Jang
Illustrated by Alex Cormack
2016, 24 Pages
M.C. Tejada has the worst roommate. She's up at all hours of the night playing video games. She follows him around and just won't leave him alone. Oh, she's also dead. That complicates things a bit. See, M.C. was a train conductor when Nina shuffled along the tracks and ended up a splatter on the windshield. Now she's haunting him, and M.C. is the only person who can see her.
There's definitely more to Nina's story and her death than what is presented on the surface in Crossing. Sure, on paper, it looks like she killed herself, but she denies that, despite walking in front of a moving train. We don't know yet how she came to be in this position, but judging by the opening pages of the comic, there's something else going on.
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Writer Enrica Jang presents just enough information to pull you in. Crossing has a great hook and it ends with a helluva cliffhanger that will have you begging for more. The book is split between the present day “relationship” between M.C. and Nina and a flashback to how the two first met. It's far from a traditional boy-meets-girl tale. Since M.C. is the only one that can see Nina and she claims she did not kill herself, she's holding on and trying to get him to help her figure out what happened to solve her own murder.
Nina is portrayed as a regular woman. She's not translucent or spectral unless something comes into direct contact with her. The first in-comic reveal of her true form, as seen in the preview pages included here, comes in spectacular fashion as she's run through with a car. Artist Alex Cormack shows this in a striking panel with Nina's head and arms above the vehicle, while her body's shape comes apart in an explosion of light as the car drives on.
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There's a haunting image of Nina on the train tracks, which is repurposed for the back cover. It shows the train barreling towards the reader with Nina slowly walking towards it, barefoot and lackadaisical. One strap of her dress hangs off her shoulder as she mutters to herself.
There are many panels with little to no dialogue throughout Crossing. This shows a great synergy amongst the creative team. There's no need to over explain anything as Cormack's artwork can tell everything that's going on and then some, especially with the emotional beats. A close up of a face or the train's brakes being pulled can speak volumes.
Crossing is a great debut with an intriguing premise. Although it deals with some serious themes like suicide, it's presented mostly as a comedy, albeit a dark one. It's definitely not like a sitcom with a ghost. Instead, it's a more relatable story about two characters thrown together by tragedy and how they're working through it.