FROM THE PUBLISHER: Nervous about having to see his ex, Ludo Carre gives her a phone call to explain he'll be returning to the old base they grew up on. Big laughs and a familiar sort of cadence in Arlo's voice don't just instantly calm him down they make him excited to see her. That excitement only hurts him more when they show up the next day and find out Arlo has been missing...for the last week.
The above description of this book from Lion Forge imprint seems quite straight forward. They don’t give away too much. It makes this book seem rather simple. This book is anything but simply. Its the extended 44 pages that make for a really enjoyable read. Most issues of comics are around the 30-page mark. Its those extra 10-14 pages where a writer can really build a story. Another thing about the description above is that it really only covers the last 7 pages. So much happens in the previous 37 pages, but without it, the final pages mean nothing.
There were moments in this book when I was waiting for our protagonist Ludo to come across a magic lamp or old brooding wizard or get bit a spider. Aside from the opening pages (which are still bit confusing to me) this book is very grounded. Its grounded in a way that, Ludo and his family seem like normal people. An army family down on its luck and moving back home to find some common ground. They have problems that are relatable. His fathers motorcycle repair shop business is failing, which causes tension between father and son. Ludo cares about the business. He has put his own hard work in the business and when he sees his father being taken advantage of, he doesn’t like it. Ludo is a young teen who is trying to find his way in the world. He’s young and emotional, he feels alone, no friends, no girlfriend. And a father and mother that are just trying to hold on to what they have.
The writing in this book really blew me away. I had never read anything from publisher Lion Forge, but I really loved what I read from writer Adam Smith. The writing felt real. When Ludo and Arlo first meet each other and play some Pitfall on SNES (small gripe but the box of the game says its for SNES, but the system they are playing on is actually the NES) I could see myself joking. I could put myself in Ludo’s shoes. No veggie compressed tube form hotdogs for me though.
I said already that I was waiting for some thing mystical to happen, or superhero-esc. At certain moments in this book, I had to adjust my expectations. I had to tell myself this isn’t a superhero book. The beginning of this book, I’ve read a couple times. I’m trying to understand it. I won’t ruin it here; I have a small theory about it but I’ll save it just in case they add to it in the second issue. The other part in this book that felt different I know for sure will come back up again. Ludo and the injured old man fees like it will come back. There’s more to the man’s injuries that we are being told. Something about just feels supernatural in some way. I could be seeing something that isn’t there, looking to deep. I guess we’ll see in further issues.
Part 1 of 3 of At The End of Your Tether really surprised me. I loved the art on the cover of the book so I decided to give it a chance, and I’m really glad I did. This book will surprise you. The mystery will creep up on you, but if you pay attention to the family issues and Ludo as a young teen like I did, you will really enjoy this book and will be left wanting more. As the title suggest, have some strength, have the patience. I believe it will be paid off.
RATING: GOTTA GO!
Emmet Davis, small town Ontario, Canada, I live with my two amazing kids and lovely partner. That's one half of my life, the other? Movies, Sports, and Comics.
Preacher, Batman: Year One, Locke and Key are some of my first loves and entries into the world of Comics, but the first comic I ever owned was The Amazing Spiderman: Skating on Thin Ice #1 from February of 1993. I was six years old then. That issue blended what I grew up to love as a teen and an adult, hockey and comics, and of course not doing drugs. Still own that same copy to this day. Thanks for reading