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The Lonely Tombstone
posted January 26, 2007
Steve Niles, Nikki Niles, Benjamin Roman
Image, irregular-sized comic book, 32 pages, 2005, $5.99
Anyone that thinks it's easy to a comics short story for children should pick up a copy of the 2005 seems-like-a-vanity project The Lonely Tombstone
and count the things that have gone wrong. The narrative borders on the generic and unremarkable. The art is uneven. A generic text is used which detracts from the overall look. The design work remains mostly dull. Character information is repeated at strange times throughout the book to little or no effect. Two major plot points -- the protagonist being teased, the climax -- are given incredible short shrift when there are pages upon pages of incremental story movement in the book's first two thirds. The ending itself is nothing to speak of, and touches on nothing we've learned about our lead or her situation up until that point. The lead character herself is preciously peculiar, a Mary Sue-type character that is, of course, better than the world that wrongs her. For a comic that ends with a body squirting out of its grave, there's almost nothing that surprises, and a lot that dismays. If it only the story were half as scary as the execution.