Sometimes being a reviewer I get to see projects that you wouldn’t normally come across. Small self-published works that leave an impact on you as a reader. This is why I always advocate visiting these artists/creators in artist alley at any convention. Martin brings us this personal story about love, loss and finding yourself again and it’s very relatable to even if you’ve never lost that special someone in your life.
I like the way this is presented, the past or what if/was are done with colour while the reality is done in black and white. This is very indie style artwork too and it’s got own charm to it that is expressive and well done. It’s the kind of work that you can tell is done with love and care and tries it’s hardest to get the right mood, tone and feel across to the reader.
We open with Madison trying to get Trey moving so they can head to his parents house. Trey is working on a deadline and wants to finish a page before they leave. It’s a great introduction because he uses her pet name, Madi, which she absolutely hates and already you get that sense that this is an odd coupling. There has to be some emotion there and Trey is endearing but you can’t see why he’s with her.
The trip to his folks house and the music playing on the radio bring back memories. Something we all know about how a certain song can bring back a flood of memories of a different time and place where we thought life was simpler. Where were younger and more carefree without the stress of being a grownup and having to compromise to be in a relationship. Yeah it’s very easy to like Trey and relate what he’s experiencing.
As the story goes on we see a lot of then and now. The way your father disapproves of what you do for a living. Mom wanting to know when she’s going to be a grandmother. The embarrassing truth told by your wife/girlfriend about performance issues, something you never want to talk to your folks about. But it signifies something deeper and more underlying about what Trey’s going through. Where’s his happiness? If he were really happy there’d be no performance issue now would there.
Then there’s the past and a time when he was happy. A chance encounter that leads to something more. Something unexpected and delightful, that changes your life before you realize it. There’s this way you feel when you read this and you know it’s personal to Martin but you feel it inside yourself as well. Somehow the present doesn’t compare to the past and how you felt or are feeling and perhaps it’s time to change how you life your life now. Finding that person who you can be yourself with and be loved regardless of your faults and flaws. Not settling for what’s expected.
Its special when a writer can get you to connect with their story on such a personal emotional level the way Martin has here. You can almost tell he’s bearing his soul too and that kind raw power leaves an indelible impression.
For those that like to do digital comics Comixology will have this available just keep an eye out. If you’re like me and love the feel of a book in your hands you can order a physical copy from www.caestudios.com which I highly recommend you do.
Wrong Way #1
CAE Studios/Big Pond Comics 2016
Written, Coloured, Designed & Lettered by: Martin Dunn
Illustrated by: Cori Walters
Additional Colours by: Dustin Orazi
Reviewer: Steven Leitman