Comic Review: North Bend # 3 (Scout Comics)

To read North Bend is to allow oneself to bend. Simple to say, it’s mindbendingly good reading. This title from Scout Comics is now at issue 3, and the intertwining […]

To read North Bend is to allow oneself to bend. Simple to say, it’s mindbendingly good reading. This title from Scout Comics is now at issue 3, and the intertwining of plot elements and characters is fast making it one of my favourites.

Creator and writer Ryan Ellsworth takes a few characters with flaws, puts them into immediate danger, has them watched and supervised, and turns up the heat. It’s present-day, US. In a city. In a prison, an office, a house, on the street. One character has been accidentally infected with a serum that has partially wiped his memory and fully wiped out his wallet. Another is working undercover but is being observed at precisely the wrong time by someone with a hidden agenda. Oh, it’s wonderful. Lies within lies, plots within schemes. Get your characters bending over forwards, backwards, in danger, and under pressure!

The dialogue is terse, the situations tense. We’ve seen stories like this in the hit TV drama Homeland, where we wonder who is a good guy, and who is ‘running’ who.

Ably illustrated by Pable de Bonis and coloured by Paul Little, North Bend brings detailed surroundings, muted colour, nonstop plotting. The drawings are gestural, well constructed, and nicely framed. This book allows thickening, sickening consequences for mistakes, and make no mistake, is a long-run winner. I plan to stick around for the bends in the twisted little roads that are bringing our characters closer, closer, and closer to the cliff.

Scout Comics, North Bend 3, $3.99 for 33 pages of content. Mature

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!!