“It’s a whistle stop tour of the apocalypse…”
Tyler Boss & Matthew Rosenberg – Storytellers
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou – Lettering
Clare Dazutti – Colour Assists (Issues #1-#2)
Shycheeks – Colour Assists (Issues #3-#6)
Courtney Menard – Map
We discussed the first issue of What’s The Furthest Place From Here? on our November 2021 Round-Up podcast, and while we all enjoyed the issue, we were also unsure of where the series was going to go from there. Now that I’ve read the first volume, coming in at over 250 pages, I admit I still had that feeling at the end of each issue.
I’ve had a lot of love for both Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss since their previous collaboration 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, and I’ve followed both of their solo endeavours since. With that in mind, the duo teaming up again for a series about Punk kids in a post-apocalyptic world was something I was pretty interested in.
What’s The Furthest Place From Here? follows the story of The Academy, a group of kids in a post-apocalyptic town populated by a colourful selection of ‘families’; each group of kids have clearly picked a loose theme to build their group around. In the case of The Academy they’re mostly a bunch of Punk kids who have each chosen a particular album to define them. For most it’s something immediately punk, like Hüsker Dü or Big Black, for others it’s Hall & Oates.
In pretty quick succession The Academy break a handful of rules in their strange society and find themselves at odds with other families within the area. In the process one of their members – Sid – disappears, heading off in search of ‘the city’, something that not all the families, or even all the members of The Academy believe is real. From here, The Academy set out to find their missing member and a new place to call home. It’s a whistle stop tour of the apocalypse from here on out.
I think one of the things that makes the series so interesting is that we don’t really get any answers, or really any hints as to how the world has gotten to its current state. There’s a few things glimpsed in the background of panels that could suggest any number of things, but it’s unclear how seemingly the only people left are children and teenagers or why at the age of eighteen they’re cast out from their respective families. The suggestion that there could be a city for the characters to discover does imply that there is a wider world they’re not yet aware of, however their scepticism towards the idea could also suggest otherwise.
This first volume of What’s The Furthest Place From Here? collects the first six issues of the series, however each issue is around twice the length of a standard single, meaning that this volume clocks in at around 250 pages. From my point of view, the double length chapters allow Tyler Boss’ artwork to really shine, with plenty of space to accommodate the massive cast of characters (a whopping twentynine named characters and fifteen families). Something that really impressed me about the series so far is that, with such a huge cast of characters, there’s a few core members of The Academy that I grew quite quickly attached to, even Sid who disappears early on in the book feels well rounded in the few pages we get with her.
Tyler Boss’ artwork is great throughout this volume, every new location and family gives him the opportunity to do something different, though every new element feels in keeping with the initial world we’re presented with. In particular Prufrock’s dream sequences really stand out for me.
It’s an unpredictable ride throughout, there’s just no telling what the next family the Academy meet will be about, or how they’ll respond to the apocalypse’s resident rejects. At this point, it feels like Rosenberg and Boss have created an intriguing world that constantly has you guessing. I’m really looking to see how their story unfolds and how they’ll tackle a longer format series than we’ve seen from the duo before. The end of this volume sees the Academy in a very different state than how we first met them, I’m looking forward to finding out how they’ll get on and where Sid has ended up.