Conveying any sort of serious emotion through storytelling is difficult. However, communicating claustrophobic despair without coming off like some sort of after school special is even more so. If handled wrong, it just comes off as pathetic, or worse, funny. In Young Liars, though, David Lapham has managed to give readers insight into what drove the protagonist Danny from his Austin home to New York City while wrapping it up in an unexpected and chilling mystery.
In the first issue of Young Liars Danny came across as similar to anyone who simply got tired of his small hometown and went out to see the big city, without ever really touching on anything specific. However, in this second issue readers are shown exactly why he left and the beginning reasons for his obsession with Sadie. But rather than telling readers why this is, Lapham shows why it is, to much greater affect. There are lots of good reasons to leave home; lack of a connection to the society lived in, neglectful or abusive parents, frustrated ambition or just plain boredom. Danny has just about all of them, he's buried underneath them and these are conveyed in an interesting and impactful narrative that runs the risk of going overboard, but doesn't.
Equally suffocated is Sadie, the most sheltered girl in the world, whom Danny meets when she's managed to escape for a night. Lapham's rendition of the sheltered girl gone berserk is pretty far out, but believable and explains the zombie look of the pre-head trauma Sadie from the first issue.
In the end, though, we get more than Danny and Sadie's young adult trauma as we are introduced to violent mysteries that include arson and homicide. While both of these have the appearance of being random, anyone familiar with Lapham's Stray Bullets knows that events in his work are rarely just random.
All of this is tied together with an oddly disjointed but strangely appropriate set of lyrics that weaves throughout the issue. Much the same as #2, the lyrics are confusing, a bit disjointed and completely alluring. Young Liars promises to be a damn fine book.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the authorís work at http://madbastard.hypersites.com
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