Behind The Panels
Comic Book Creators Interviews
Story and Art: Jonathan Case
First Edition October 2011
Review By: John M. Scrudder
By now Jonathan Case is the envy of many seasoned artists.
Dear Creature is his first Graphic Novel but you can’t tell. This is one of the finest books to come out in a long time. I’ve always thought that a great comic is one in which you don’t know that you’re reading a comic. In Dear Creature it feels like your watching a movie. It all seems so effortless even when you’re reading Grue’s Elizabethan iambic pentameter.
The artwork is so beautiful, so natural that I believe Mr. Case was actually visiting this coastal town and rendering everything from memory to page with the accuracy of a camera. There is nothing out of place, there is nothing wrong. Everything is rendered in perfect black and white. To me, one of the most impressive aspects of his art is that there is zero cross hatching. Everything is filled with perfectly placed lines and strokes and gobs of black ink juxtaposing the white - it is nothing short of incredible.
So there’s the art aspect - but then you’ve got the characters - I mention this before the story because the characters are so important and so detrimental to the story that they could all stand to have their own stories told in individual volumes. It’s astounding. Every single one of these complex characters stands out in a way that would make any veteran writer swoon.
The story, at its core is a Romantic Comedy - but it’s one of the best. The writing flows so well and Mr. Case has the rare ability to make use of the panel space with heavy dialogue and still have you eyes move in all the write places over the words and images. Sometimes it’s one or the other. Sometimes I can read a book without being bothered to look at the art, and sometimes the visuals are so overwhelming that I forget there’s a story to be told at all. Jonathan Case balances these two aspects perfectly. Nothing is wasted.
I’d love to spend this whole review pouring over each and every panel on all the pages, but I won’t. I’m hoping that people will buy this book and be just as impressed as I was. I won’t spoil any of it by mentioning anything about it - I want people to pick this up and be surprised.
In the end, the only thing I hope you’ll be thinking is “When is the next book by Jonathan Case coming out”