“GONERS #3” (Comic Book Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
With Image Comics’ newest horror endeavor, GONERS, readers are reminded that paranormal hunting can very much be a family friendly affair. Much like the Winchesters from SUPERNATURAL, the Latimer family is never one to shy away from an exorcism or chasing a monster to the ends of the world, offering a comic that is as highly adventurous as it is steeped in mythology. As issue three prepares to hit stands, we see the series really take flight, exploring a bit more of the history of the family while following the mis-adventures of their two youngest practitioners after the death of their parents. With its pop-inspired art style and fantastically timed scares (with the just the perfect amount of quips), GONERS will undoubtedly be the sleeper hit of the new year.
As previously mentioned, the series focuses on the two youngest Latimer’s, Zoe and Josiah, who are immediately thrust into a world of monsters and mystery following the sudden death of their parents. In their world, supernatural entities are widely accepted as existing, even allowing for the more experienced humans to make a living off of hunting them down, hence, the Latimers, but frankly, it’s not their day. The same night the elder Latimer’s die, both Zoe and Josiah are attacked in their home by evil spirits, starting a chain of events that include their uncle, a magically endowed man-servant, and more monsters than you can shake a stick at. The third issue of GONERS continues the wild adventure as the siblings head back home, searching for answers about their family’s past and who would want them dead. Unfortunately, someone had beat them there; someone looking for a bit of revenge themselves.
Perhaps the first thing that really draws the reader’s attention is the unique art style. A mix of modern animation and McFarlane-era comic illustration makes GONERS an easy-on-the-eyes read. Drawn by Jorge Corona, the exaggerated proportions are noticeable enough to give the work a unique vibe but not so much as to disagree with the overall story. The clean inking and dark-toned coloring wrap up the entire work into a wonderfully spooky package that is as eager to please as it is to scare. But, don’t be fooled into thinking that the artwork means an immature read; despite its “cartoony” presentation, it’s not all-ages comic, but rather more of a 13 and up series.
Of course, just because the art is the standout feature, that doesn’t mean that the story isn’t top-notch, as GONERS builds a unique tale of arcane adventure. Author Jacob Semahn avoids the common tropes when writing about the pair of siblings (with one about to enter puberty and one deep in it), by making characters with real personalities instead of the more common “angsty, goth teen” as would be expected in a family of ghost chasers. The kids laugh, cry, and generally get along, which in turn makes a story that focuses more on the overarching story than some petty sibling rivalry, that- let’s be honest- we’re all sick of reading about. Also, like any good tale, the story does a great job of creating mysteries within its mysteries, keeping its readers hooked as old secrets and new horrors surround the kids, engaging the audience akin to a well-written TV series. With its fast-paced action and split second decisions, GONERS #3 brings the old saying, “The family that slays together, stays together,” a whole new meaning.