The time has come for me to get back into written comic commentary. I've had a little over a month away from all comic reviewing while I focused on twitch gaming but in all that time of course, I have continued to read comics. Recently I was able to finish reading KING OF NOWHERE. So let's talk about it shall we?
Boom Studios released issue 1 of King of Nowhere in March of this year, at the beginning of the Canadian Covid epidemic. The series survived the first wave of lock downs and comic downsizing and completed it's 5 issue run in September. (Me being a wee bit behind on picking up my comics, I only got to recently read the conclusion.)
The series was written by Eisner Award Winner W. Maxwell Prince and illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators Tyler Jenkins whom you would most recently remember from his Eisner nominated series GRASS KINGS. If you have been following this blog for any length of time you are likely well acquainted with his work as I've covered most of his projects.
KING OF NOWHERE follows lost drunkard Denis who winds up in strange small town after a particularly enthusiastic bender. He has no memory of how he got there and begins to question his sanity and sense of reality as he is met with the locals. The town Nowhere is inhabited by fish people, bird people, talking trees and mutants of all shapes. As Denis deals with each one the reader is left to wonder if in fact he is on some terrible drug trip or if the reality of the store has shifted into another world. I could perhaps describe the story as a daydream with a little sprinkling of delirium on top for taste.
For me, the artwork trumps the story as I am very partial to Jenkin's lovely water color. It feels like a fever dream all on its own. The finer points of the story itself rests in the subtleties. There's a self loathing and wanting need to be better-than in the main characters which gives NOWHERE its charm. There's a taste of the struggling addict in every issue which humanizes the characters, which is kind of hard since some of them look like fish. Yet its these intrinsic faults displayed to the reader which imparts more impact in the story than the overall plot which focuses largely on small town conspiracy and government crime. While those things offer some adventuring, it is the journey Denis experiences in questioning his own reality that really drives the whole story (for me).
I definitely recommend grabbing this one! If you're unable to make it to your local comic shop, you can grab this series on Comixology of ask Santa to get you the trade for Xmas as it comes out Dec 9th!