Review: Young Liars #7

Young Liars #7

Young Liars #7 (*****)

This book is a real treat. Our story begins on Mars. Mommy is copulating on the dinner table. Little Sadie refuses to eat her fly. Ma’s lover, Bob, assures Sadie that “horseflies are full of essential micro-nutrients”. She responds “You’re not my dad”. Then stabs poor Bob in the eye with a straw and drinks up. Mom then cuts a hole in Bob’s groin and digs in. What would follow such a grotesque act? Little Sadie wins a radio contest to go with her favorite DJ, Danny Duoshade, to the Orpheum. But how’s a poor girl going to get there when she’s trapped on Mars?

Did you find that appalling? If so, then I guess Young Liars isn’t the comic for you. “One of the best series going, if you can handle it”, that’s a quote from the review on this cover. A true statement indeed. Young Liars is definitely a book that fascinates some and repels others. To say that the book is extreme is an understatement.

This is the start of a new arc and its origins stem from something Sadie said in an earlier issue. It seemed inconsequential at the time, but apparently it’s all real. It’s explored in excruciating detail within these pages. What seemed like a bizarre and overdone sci-fi concept reforms due to David Lapham’s newfangled writing. Freshness is a staple in Young Liars. Everything seems new even when it’s not. In an age of fourquels and Hollywood buying the rights to everything, this series is welcomed with open arms.

An ingredient that seems unobtrusive in Young Liars is Lapham’s art. It appears to be rather simple and undistinguished. But he has engendered some of the most repulsive and haunting images ever rendered. I’m always impressed by writer/artists because they give you a better sense of their world. The synergy between the words and the pretty pictures are near lyrical. I mention lyrics because that is another theme in this book.

There’s a reason for that awesome guitar gun on the cover. Every issue Danny Duoshade (You’ll find out who that is in this issue) recommends two songs. You can think of that as a soundtrack to the issue. Listen to the songs while reading if you wish. Lapham even provides a sort of “Where’s Waldo” of music. There’s an abundance of musical treats throughout that adds additional enjoyment and supplies a motivation to reread the issue. There are even songs playing within the book itself. Yes, the lyrics are printed on paper, but it’s almost as if you can hear the song even if you’re unfamiliar with it.

It’s a bit odd that I wrote an in-depth review about a Vertigo title. I usually reserve these reviews for big mainstream books like Secret Invasion or Final Crisis. This is the start of a new arc, but it’s nothing pivotal. I’d like to point out that even though this is a part 1, it doesn’t read that way. You can even enjoy this issue without reading any of the preceding six. You can kind of consider this my love letter to Young Liars. I spent a little too much time talking about the book in general than I did about issue #7. It’s just my little unsubtle way of telling those who had some time to buy this book. I’m not sure how this series is selling, but I have a feeling the numbers are low. You can even purchase that Vertigo double-shot that contains the first issues of Young Liars and House of Mystery. So please, give this book a try. And no, even though this a shameless endorsement, I am not David Lapham.

8 thoughts on “Review: Young Liars #7

  1. First off, you should never apologize for trolling for readers of independent titles, that’s the only way most of these things stay afloat!

    Second off, great review. Did you ever read Lapham’s self-published series STRAY BULLETS? It’s different, yet similar to YOUNG LIARS in tone and theme. But anyway, about 9-10 issues in, Lapham broke from the regular story and did this “Amy Racecar” story that seemed to parallel what was going on in the main story, but in an allegorical way. Sort of like a modern day fairy tale (y’know if fairy tales included machine gunning people down and blowing up the Earth…). He’d then interject Amy Racecar stories further down the run of the series. Anyway, that’s kind of how I see #7: a psychotic fever dream reinterpretation of Sadie’s life up to this point (or at least up to the point pre-bullet-in-head). If you have an interest in picking peoples brains apart, and for disentangling allegories, it’s a fun little peek inside Sadie’s mind, and how she interprets her relationships and goals in life.

    At any rate, Lapham is a talent unlike any other, and one who takes BIG risks, and I love him for that (but only in his creator owned stuff, his SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER was a real disappointment…).

  2. Thanks for the kind words. I’ll try to always promote indy comics sans apology from now on.

    No, I never read Stray Bullets. I don’t think I will at this point because I heard it never comes out anymore. Hopefully that won’t happen to Young Liars. I’ve been amazed at its punctuality. Most creator owned stuff I’ve been exposed to is always late. I’m glad to hear Stray Bullets is good though.

    That’s too bad about Lapham’s mainstream work, but he does seem like the kind of writer that needs creative control. You’re probably right about this issue being a fever dream. I probably shouldn’t have called it “real”, but then nothing in comics is ever real so….

  3. yeah, this definitely reads like an Amy Racecar type sub-plot, parallel plot, w/e…

    dude, Spence… read Stray Bullets. almost all of it is in trade. go-buy-now.

    …and if you haven’t read it, try Silverfish. it’s a Vertigo one-shot/graphic novel type dealy Lapham did before Young Liars. it’s not nearly as awesome as YL, but it’s still worth getting if you like his work. but be forewarned, although there exist bits of craziness in that story, it’s firmly based in “the real”.

    also, i watched Speed Racer again last night. man, what a great film, right?

  4. Well, we’ll have to see about that. Isn’t Stray Bullets unfinished though? I’m not sure if I want to get into it if that’s the case. I’m sure I’d like Silverfish and Stray Bullets, but the money….

    Really? Speed Racer? You sound like Robert Kirkman.

  5. @BRUCE: Oh, I wasn’t criticizing your use of the word “real.” In fact, I don’t really think that even registered with me when I read the review.

    All this talk of Stray Bullets made me go and check the first two trades out from my library again.

    @ BILLY: “parallel plot”! That’s exactly the way to describe this! Cuz it’s definitely thematically related to the main story even though it may not be “in continuity” so to speak.

    And, I totally forgot Speed Racer came out this week on DVD. I know where I’m going after work… ^_^

  6. @PROF: it’s so good, right? like, i don’t understand all the hate, or i do, but man, people are sooo… i truly believe the Wacky-Dacky bros. will never make a better film than Speed Racer.

    @BRUCE: i’ll get right on it! i’ve been busy… i got re-sucked into WOW. my life has ended. pray for me.

  7. @Prof: I didn’t think you were criticizing, I just thought you were voicing your opinions about what this issue was. There’s nothing wrong with that!

    @Billy: Yeah, I could tell you’ve been busy. Don’t worry about it too much man. I just hope you get less busy and/or whatever’s troubling you gets better.

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