Gideon Falls #13
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Gideon Falls continues its evolution from supernatural horror, to a more fantastical world this month. Once firmly set in the realm of horror, this issue, #13, finally makes clear the world in which writer, Jeff Lemire, has had in mind all along. The result–a twisted tale that resembles Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, far more than it resembles the same author’s clowny creep show, IT.
We last left the tale of the Black Barn and Father Fredrick, as the man of God broke into pieces and fell through space and time to arrive in a steampunk version of Gideon falls. Fred draws himself a map of the different Gideon Falls he has visited so far. What he’s left with is a paper with a couple labeled dots. The resident of The Black Barn, Norton Sinclair, continues on his murderous rampage through time and space. However, why he doesn’t kill Father Fredrick is still unclear.
For the first time, Norton Sinclair shows some feelings other than his insanely creepy red grin. Trapped inside a prison cell, Father Fred asks Norton to come back to him. To listen to the teachings of God. Norton’s response: he has been visited by something at the center of all existence. Whatever it was, it has turned Norton into something he never would have expected, and the remorse he feels is visible. One can only deduce that it is the power he holds driving him forward into new worlds.
While the time feels due for Norton to be something other than a boogieman, it also feels like the constant reality jumping has destabilized the sense of character within this comic. Who is Father Fredrick without the society that made him? When will the plot slow enough for him to portray anything other than horror and bafflement? These are pressing questions that need answering if readers are going to remain connected with these characters.
The art in this comic is among the best I’ve seen in my admittedly newly found love of comics. However, it’s not beautiful in the way other contemporary comics are. But the art in Gideon Falls simply fits the characters, pacing, atmosphere. It’s as though the narrative, by way of the art, has it’s very own worldview–which it does, just like a novel has its own worldview. In every issue (this one as well) I am made to reevaluate what paneling is, and what it can be used for.