Janice Chen is your average cab driver. Stressed and tired, Janice works all the hours god sends to avoid her own personal traumas. However, one fateful pick-up leads Janice down the rabbit hole as she discovers what happens when we die and what it means to truly forgive yourself.
Originally a Comixology Original and Eisner Award Winner, Afterlift is one of the many Comixology titles receiving a physical publication from Dark Horse Comics. Now call me old fashioned but I am a person who doesn’t quite enjoy digital comics as much as physically holding the book so for this is a cause for celebration as we are finally able to really soak Afterlift in all it’s paperback glory.
People may not be familiar with the titles artist, Jason Loo, unless you had the pleasure of reading The Pitiful Human-Lizard a creator owned title which Loo both wrote and drew. Regardless of whether you knew Loo previously you are about to know him and you are in for a treat. Loo’s art, combined with Paris Alleyne’s incredible eye for colour create some stunning visuals that lend well to the stories supernatural and action heavy themes.
The story itself is perfectly paced and does not let up. It begins how it means to go on, in that it wastes absolutely no time in throwing the protagonist Janice Chen into literal Hell when she meets Dumu, a demon attempting to bring a soul to the after life.
Beyond the supernatural elements and the explosive action though is a very human story. Aferlift explores what is actually beyond our physical lives on Earth and what Janice embarks on is a journey of purification and forgiveness the things she has previously been unable to move on from.
The dialogue between characters is oozing with character, as you might expect from Zdarsky, each character introduced is fully fleshed out and has their own unique voice no matter how small their role might be. This is a writing trait Zdarsky has perfected over the years and continues to shine through in all of his work.
Aditya Bidikar is Afterlift’s letterer who you may recognise from Grant Morrison’s 18 Days and Image Comics’ horror title Winnebago Graveyard. The letters are crisp throughout allowing the reader to take in the story with ease.
Chip Zdarsky is the name on everyone's lips right now and there comes a certain level of expectation when you pick up a book with his name at the forefront and that's high quality story telling, however that doesn't mean you know what to expect in terms of the plot itself and Afterlift is no exception and I cans safely say this is one of Zdarsky's biggest accomplishments.
I hope to see both Loo and Alleyne on many works in the future, as their talents are undeniable and should be enjoyed by the masses.
Afterlift: So What Really Happens When We Die? (First time in print!)
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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