Story: Sean Lewis
Art: Caitlin Yarsky
Colours: Ari Pluchinsky
Book Design: Ryan Brewer
How far would you be willing to go to save your son?
Benton Ohara finds himself faced with this question when he and his wife Mabel are unable to pay for their son’s health care.
Bliss is narrated by Perry, Benton and Mabel’s son, as he attempts to defend his father’s actions in court. In the family’s hour of need Benton is given the opportunity to make money as a hired gun for the creatures that run Feral City, The Gods Of Docktown. They’ll also provide him with a supply of Bliss, a drug which allows him to forget what it is he’s done, and in doing so absolve him of the guilt from the crimes he’s had to commit.
Although the story begins as a tale of a man doing whatever he can to provide for his family it doesn’t take long for Bliss to become something bigger than that. In the second chapter we’re introduced to the idea of Lethe, the god of oblivion, and potentially a reason so many of the city’s people are lucky enough to cry away their bad memories.
I know it gets said a lot in reviews, but I don’t want to give too much away about Bliss. This is a story full of twists and turns, Benton’s story is truly a heart wrenching one, which needs to be experienced first hand. I’ll simply ask you this question, how often do you read a comic that has a scene in which someone is hit so hard their eyes fall out, but also has scenes that will have you welling up?
This isn’t the first of Sean Lewis’ books that I’ve read, but it’s definitely my favourite so far. His writing feels so incredibly from the heart and while there are many stories that deal with coming to terms with the people your parents are, it’s rarely done this well.
Caitlin Yarsky’s artwork throughout this series is simply gorgeous, capturing emotions and subtle facial expressions, creating a grounded humanity to an otherwise somewhat surreal reality. Bliss is also wonderfully laid out with unique and dynamic panel layouts on every page and some strange perspectives which add to that surreal feeling. Ari Pluchinsky’s colouring is also a great contribution to the art, wonderfully conveying changes in location, from the gritty underbelly of Feral City to the blue light baked living room of the Ohara Family’s home.
By the time I finished reading Bliss I was disappointed I’d missed reading it in single issues, I feel like without a doubt this is going to be among the best trades to come out this year. It’s a pure showcase of talent, from Sean Lewis’ emotional and layered writing to Caitlin Yarsky and Ari Pluchinsky’s stunning artwork. You should absolutely read Bliss.