Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Afterlife, Inc., Volume 1: Dying to Tell - Tales of the Afterlife by Jon Lock

ComiXology recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of ComiXology Submit, the company’s indie comic platform, with a fantastic bundle sale of some heir best releases.  We will talk more about this later, but the short version is that this meant readers, including this one, could take advantage of a great price to explore the wide range of titles released through ComiXology Submit.

One of these was the first volume of Afterlife, Inc.  Set in an afterlife devoid of deities, the series follows a large cast of characters as they live in/work in/explore the post-life world.

Afterlife, Inc., Volume 1: Dying to Tell – Tales from the Afterlife is written by Jon Lock, and features art from Jack Tempest, Del Borovic, Will Tempest, Roy Huteson Stewart, Ash Jackson, and Jerry Gaylord.  This first volume features eight interrelated stories following Jack Fortune, head of Afterlife, Inc.  All of the stories are pretty short in length, but make a very enjoyable whole.  We have stories of people who can’t accept their death, angels who want to be something different, pulp noir crime, an Alice in Wonderland pastiche, and even a Sherlock Holmes/Jack the Ripper throw down. 

Truly, while each of the stories on their own are fun, fast stories that are clearly well written, the whole presents a very detailed picture of a strange new setting.  The multiple art styles vary significantly in some degree, with different artists working on different stories, but they fit the mood of the story quite nicely, and the varying styles create a homogenous whole that fits the world-building efforts quite nicely.

Readers will find a nice blend of humor, action, strong storytelling, and a sense of the bizarre in Dying to Tell, and the balance is performed quite nicely.  For those wanting a story that isn’t your typical comic, neither superheroes nor the more snobby “literary” graphic novels, Dying to Tell is a wonderful mix of intelligence and fun that will have you excited to explore more in the series.  For those interested, there are currently two more volumes of Afterlife, Inc. available: Near Life and Other Stories and Lifeblood.

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