Publisher: Image & Skybound
Creator/Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Creator/Artist: Ramon K Perez
Colourist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Rus Wooton
At this point, eight issues in, we’re familiar with the town of Stillwater and some of its many inhabitants who vary from the crazy to the sympathetic to the creepy. What’s interesting is that after leaving our central character in a sort of ‘what happens next’ situation with the town’s never grow up kids we now pivot to focus on a different character, the town Sheriff, Tanya.
Some of the residents have lived in Stillwater all their lives but to my surprise Tanya is not one of them. The story of how she came to be in Stillwater is one laced with tragedy and depression. It’s really the story of what pain can do, how it can drive someone into unexpected places and situations.
Once upon a time Tanya would never have faked an accident to cover up the murder of an innocent man but now we can see the journey that turned her into the person who would do exactly that.
Some people want to be in Stillwater because they want to live forever. Tanya just wants to live and that makes her stand out.
The art really helps to tell Tanya’s story. We go back to the outside world of 1996 and there’s a definite contrast to the world of Stillwater. The place Tanya comes from is dark and drained of life for her and that’s reflected in the art of a boring 90’s workplace and a seedy bar. However, the use of light on a morning after is also really well used, highlighting what she’s lost.
This is not a jumping on point for new readers but for those of us who have been following Stillwater for eight issues now this provides a nice, almost standalone feeling issue that focuses in on one of the key players. Before reading I wasn’t a fan of Tanya, after reading I have a respect for her.