By Night #1

Writer: John Allison
Illustrator, Cover Artist: Christine Larsen
Colorist: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: BOOM! Box Studios

Review by Anelise Farris

By Night #1 introduces us to Jane and Heather: two friends that lost touch in college but reconnect during a “chance” (*wink wink*) encounter in their hometown. Heather asks Jane to get a drink after work, and they run into Heather’s dad. He informs them that his thirty-year run as the site manager for the Charleswood Estate is over, as the trust fund has run out. Long story short, Heather snags the keys from her pop and convinces Jane to explore the unguarded estate with her.

This is a super smart first issue. There is a great mix of character introduction and plot development. The light humor and fast-paced dialogue animate the story. And, the mystery already has me wondering: Just who was Charles? And, what secrets does the estate hold? I also love the age of the characters. They are both in that post-college, dare I say disillusioned, coming-home-again state.

The cartoony, youthful art and soft lines work well for By Night #1. And the pops of darker color bring a subtle depth to the otherwise bright design. There is one page where it felt like the panels were disordered, as I had trouble following it. This is a minor quibble though, as from the very first page I was 110% invested in this story.

Verdict: Buy it.

Mystery, post-college angst, and old friends come together to create a fantastic story in By Night #1.

Anelise Farris
Anelise is an english professor with a love for old buildings, dusty tomes, black turtlenecks, and all things macabre and odd.

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