Every once in a while a book comes along that you pick up and think, man I wish I’d thought of this story, well my friends, Green Wake (Interview) is one of those. Two up and comers from Image Comics, Kurtis J. Wiebe (“The Intrepids”) and Riley Rossmo (“Proof”), bring you one of the weirdest debut comics of the year. Green Wake is dark, gritty, confusing and comparison can easily be drawn to the surrealist master, David Lynch. As such an odd series, it’s really no wonder it has given rise to some mixed reviews, receiving both praise and criticism from readers (really, reviews are all over the place). In Green Wake, Wiebe and Rossmo bring you into an ethereal world set alongside a suspenseful murder-mystery storyline, leaving you with an uncomfortable feeling in your gut. Whether you’ll love it or hate it, Green Wake is one book that deserves some attention. Read on for the skinny…
“A deformed creature stalks the dark alleys of Green Wake in search of the murderer, its motivations unclear. With the lead suspect in danger of disappearing, Morley stumbles upon a resident who bestows upon him a powerful vision, unlocking a grisly glimpse into a series of events that could change his life forever.”
The premise of the story so far is that for reasons unknown people turn up in the strange town of Green Wake (hmm Silent Hill anyone?). The town was relatively peaceful until the arrival of a new character, and from here on out everything spells darkness, murder, and secrecy. As the self appointed detective team, resembling The Men in Black, try to discover what’s going on, it reveals a tangled web of lies, love, death and utter strangeness. Aside from the main plotline, the town itself and its inhabitants are a total enigma. Newcomers arrive unannounced and those who stay long enough seem to age into frog-like creatures before they die (or croak for that matter). There’s so much going on in this series, and so many layers of metaphor, that it’s easy to get lost in the pages of Green Wake.
While the book is receiving a lot of criticism for its lack of clarity, and confusing dialogue, I personally believe it’s exactly what Wiebe is going for. Anyone who reads crime fiction knows that the reader is supposed to be given only as much information as the detectives themselves, leaving much of the case to be utterly baffling (at least until the end). Wiebe does a tremendous job of staying within the character’s mind, while still creating a sense of space, and leaving the killer’s identity to remain anonymous. Don’t expect your typical easy-to-follow plotline, obvious explanations, or to have all the answers right away, because in Green Wake because you simply won’t.
Writing aside, the art in the series perfectly captures the mood of a sketchy, rundown, nowhere land. Rossmo has been busy at work at Image, and it’s because his style fits so well with so many of the new Image titles. The pages are dark, hazy, and make you feel like you’re not really where you think you are. The subtle green coloring that pervades every backdrop really draws out the griminess of the city, and the obscured faces bring out the eeriness of the narrative.
To be frank, not everyone is going to like Green Wake. For readers like myself who are fans of David Lynch, Silent Hill, and surreal crime fiction, Green Wake is a gem in modern comics (who doesn’t like those things?). Some may find it unsettling, freakish, and vague while others may find it, well, also unsettling, freakish, and vague but understand it as the brilliant surreal crime story that it is. But hey, don’t let me or anyone else tell you what to think, go out this week, pick it up, and have your own damn opinion!
“Green Wake ” Issue #3 Drops June 8th From Image Comics! (MSRP – $3.50)