“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…” (Pretty Deadly: The Rat #3 Comic Review)

Script Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art & Cover Emma Ríos

Coloring Jordie Bellaire

Lettering Clayton Cowles

Backmatter Laurenn McCubbin

Editor Sigrid Ellis

Managing Editors Turner Lobey & Lauren Sankovitch

Production Tricia Ramos

***Review title from The Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’***

“But Clara wasn’t drawn here… She was chased.”

In This Issue: Bunny and Butterfly discuss the helpfulness of a model in seeing the bigger picture on a small scale—how that can make things clearer to the viewer.

Fox asks Sissy if her model garden has given her the insight she is seeking to how the world at large would look if she could see it in miniature. “Not yet,” Sissy says.

Frank has a dream. He searches for Clara through a landscape straight out of one of her creations and finds her, but she is in pieces, can’t hold together. He wakes during a storm, more determined than ever to find out what happened to his niece. Ginny tells him to go back to the source—the films Clara left behind. What was she trying to convey? Wants, and pain…Frank knows where to look next. He and Ginny travel through the inclement weather to a ramshackle mansion where the front door is never locked.

To the Reaper of Thirst.

Frank has visited her before, and she inquires as to his current thirst—what he is seeking. Ginny answers for him: purpose. His only need is to know what happened to Clara. The Reaper of Thirst shows him. Clara, in her search for her uncle, found the Reaper instead. The Reaper tried to keep Clara, but Clara left just as Frank had. The Reaper of Thirst claims that if Clara had stayed she could have been safe. But how did Clara find her way to the home of the Reaper of Thirst?

My Two Cents: The consistent quality of Pretty Deadly is wonderful. There has not been an issue or even a scene so far that has felt like exposition for the sake of exposition, or a place-holder, or a quick fix to move the plot forward. Every panel, every transition, every bit of dialogue is carefully calculated to convey exactly what needs to be conveyed. The Reaper of Thirst, who played a big role in this issue, has been designed to portray the embodiment of her name. She looks exactly as her moniker would have you believe her to be; a dehydrated old crone, dazed, cracking, gaunt. She seeks relief tongue-first, but much like Tantalus in the Greek mythos, is never able to satiate her need. She imparts a prime piece of information to Frank and Ginny, and that little nugget of intrigue is what will carry us to issue #4.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
Can we just talk about chapped lips for a second? I know that sounds like a weird thing to hone in on in a comic review, but believe me when I say that the interaction with the Reaper of Thirst had me reaching for the Burt's Bees. You know when an artist excels at their craft when you can physically feel what you see represented on the page in front of you, and the Reaper of Thirst's scraggly, cracked, jagged-skinned lips were giving me an absolutely fervent case of the wibblies. The rest of her was pretty darned creeptastic, but the image of those lips is going to stay with me for a good long time. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to bathe myself in a vat of petroleum jelly and hydrate like there's no tomorrow.
Good
  • Extras within the book
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Layered storytelling
Bad
  • I'm honestly having a difficult time finding any, TBH
9
Amazing
Art - 9
Story - 9
Writing - 9
Predictability - 9
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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