"Long Lost #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scout Comics
Written by Matthew Erman
Illustrated by Lisa Sterle
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 22nd, 2017
Piper has a normal albeit lonely life. She has a puppy named Pockets who takes up most of her time. Otherwise she's sort of hiding out in her house. Her sister, Frances, is the complete opposite. She's bubbly and full of energy. She's also the absolute last person you'd want to sit next to on a train as we see here.
It's this normalcy that makes Long Lost so frightening. We can see aspects of ourselves in Piper. Although Frances is present, she has less of a focus. The spotlight is really on Piper. We've all gone through the same kind of everyday stresses and thoughts that she exhibits. When something shatters her window, leaving a mess of hair and flesh, it is more than a little terrifying.
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Think about that scene for a second. You're home alone. Well, you have a little dog with you, but it is no help. Suddenly you hear a window break and you run downstairs to find out what's going on. There is no one else nearby and no sign of anyone having entered your house, but the window is covered in long, dark hair, as if the little girl from The Ring jumped through it. Then you find what looks like a small pile of intestines. I don't know about you, but I'd just move. Right then and there I'd grab my keys, burn the house down, and never look back.
Of course, if that happened, it wouldn't be much of a story, right? Instead, the tension grows as writer Matthew Erman gives you a brief moment to catch your breath before taking it away once again. I'm filled with questions as to what this shadowy figure is that's haunting Piper and what it all means, which is the exact place I want to be with a first issue.
Artist Lisa Sterle excels at the use of shadow. Long Lost is presented in black-and-white and she uses darkness well to hide specific features about this monster that's lurking nearby. You see just enough to understand it has a basic human shape, although it's rather abnormal, but not enough that you know exactly what it is.
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The hair is where I almost lost it. That was the part of the comic where I just started yelling, “OH HELL NO!” which confused everyone around me. The hair looks slimy, like it hasn't been washed in ages. You can practically feel the grease on it.
While I was instantly pulled into Piper's story, Frances is the complete opposite. She is too upbeat and energetic, like a fluffy cartoon. This flies in the face of the rest of the comic. She has one major scene where she irritates a fellow train passenger with her various opinions about child birth, which were definitely not asked for. Even the grey shades in her scene are brighter, as if the sunlight is coming right out of her pores, which is a stark contrast to Piper's world where shadows reign supreme.
The two sisters are connected at the end of this issue along with a jaw-dropping final image. It's the kind of shot that serves as a perfect cliffhanger, as you'll be dying for more. Long Lost is a comic draped in a misleading normalcy that hides nothing but dread. It's a moody book that's filled with the closest thing the medium has to a jump scare. These moments will chill you to the core.