Getting It Together #4
Right from the cover of issue four of Getting It Together, the “end-of-season special” vibe of the issue hits you, with the dynamism and realistic posture Jenny D. Fine gives to Lauren contrasted with a “stage” that is nothing but memories of the journey we have lived with these characters, composed of a photobooth slash sketch-style that defines their relationships, an album cover and some half-showed concert posters. This all contains just the right amount of naivety mixed with authenticity that teases the humane value of the story it contains.
The change of artist from Fine to Grace fits the change of focus, from the conclusion of the threads put in issue three to a fast forward to Lauren’s musical journey. Fine’s last pages focus on Jack and Sam’s friendship, and leave a justified warm feeling over all the conflict that this comic has created. Then, that vibe of “TV special episode” gets really rounded by the shift to Grace’s more polished and YA-style art. The further focus on characters’ expressions, with panels occupied only by faces laughing, smiling or worrying, gives a musical video vibe that fits Lauren’s self-discovery musical journey. And Mx Struble’s coloring highlights each of the moving vibrant scenarios, not being afraid of taking risks and introducing almost every possible palette, with full success in how that reflects the shifts in moods. The textures, shadowing and coloring details move the story forward till an impressively intense last panel.
I gotta be honest, at first read, and focusing mostly on the art shift, I wondered if the first few pages should have been better in issue #3. But it’s Grace and Spahi’s script that sells why both the decisions made in that drug-fueled moment of enlightenment and the Jack-Sam panels fit perfectly here, both as closure and as the setting for Lauren’s flash-forward story. And that last Lauren storyline, dealing with inspiration, frustration, artists’ risks and the connection with one’s childhood’s ideas, is a delicious piece of narrative.
I have my personal highs (Lauren’s frustrated creative process is too reletable, and Mai’s appearances really cement why I want to see more of her) and lows (the sexual innuendos feel less justified and more in your face than in the rest of this series), but the story overall is compelling, humane and compassionate take on an indie artist, dressed with cozy beautiful art and a really great sense of composition and design. And the issue closes with Annie’s drug trip, fun four-strip comic where Erika Schnatz plays with emoji faces and furries. For real.
A multifaceted last issue that touches deep into the process of creativity itself and the relationship between its characters, and that makes me eager to see more of these characters and their lives moving forward.
Getting It Together #4: Pictures of Success
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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