Comic Review: North Bend #2 (Scout Comics)

With Scout Comics’ North Bend #2, Brendan moves along in life, planning, and plotting. The safe house’s neighbour seems friendly enough, or maybe a bit too friendly. Imposing in his […]

With Scout Comics’ North Bend #2, Brendan moves along in life, planning, and plotting.

The safe house’s neighbour seems friendly enough, or maybe a bit too friendly. Imposing in his wonderous friendliness. No matter, things are complicated enough. Has the CIA really recruited Seattle DEA Agent Brendan Kruge to test an experimental mind-control drug on unsuspecting Americans? Did someone really just had overall their savings at the ATM, just for the asking??

And so it is again; North Bend created and written by Ryan Ellsworth. Once again, a twisting and turning plot, with characters who seem to have multiple names, multiple agendas. What do we mean to say when we say something intending to throw off the other person? Are we acting out of malice or self-preservation, or just caught in a pickle? Ellsworth throws false turns, false names and disguises to the wind, and winds up writing a fascinatingly paranoiac plot.

Artist Rob Carey continues to build his visuals with quiet zeal. The characters might resemble each other at first glance, but upon rereading, the images begin to clear. We see past the blank faces, the blank slate. Carey contributes to the suspense and sense that ‘all is wrong, but where to start’. His figure placement in panels, the gestures, the understated shapes of things to come. Colourist Ellie Wright brings putty and puce midtones, salmon and mauve, and all the hues and cries of colour in between. It’s not a bold palette, but instead, finely tuned and suffocating and bleak. So much the better with which to pull the reader forward, wondering, wandering.

North Bend #2 is continuing to mystify and entrap us. One cover is by Rob Carey and a variant by Caspar Wijngaard!

Scout Comics, North Bend #2, $3.99 for 36 pages of content. Assume Teen rating.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!