Last Song #1
Writer: Holly Interlandi
Artist/Letterer: Sally Cantirino
Cover Colorist: Marissa Louise
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
A review by David Hildebrand
Listening to music is a very personal experience for us all. There isn’t anybody in this world that can’t connect hearing certain songs with a special someone or something monumental that happened in their life, whether it be bad or good. Music surrounds us all, it is our lifeforce. Whenever I write (including this moment), I have music playing in the background. Right now, I am listening to some headbanging madness that most turn would turn their nose up to. And that is fine, we each have our own unique taste, this is what makes music amazing! And Last Song #1 has its own unique taste.
Last Song #1 is a beautifully written tale of Nicky and Drew and their journey through childhood into their twenties, where they form a band called Ecstasy. Interlandi’s pacing is what makes this narrative work. Even though the story doesn’t follow a true timeline, the payoff is satisfying. We learn in the beginning that Ecstasy is going to play their final show after a successful seven-year run. From there we see the beginnings of Ecstasy, as well as the obstacles the duo encounter as they mature, including dealing with suicide, questioning growing up, and the focus on their dreams and fears. There is a lot to digest in this double issue and I enjoyed every page.
The first thing that caught my attention was Cantirino’s art. I thought it was a bold move to illustrate this book in black and white as opposed to color. Usually titles like this, especially titles involving music, I would expect to see a darker palette of colors setting the tone, and emphasizing on the music scene. I like the choice of going black and white and I think it meshes well with the story. Even without color, the art is beautiful and has substance.
Interlandi does a remarkable job of bringing Nicky and Drew to life, along with the other supporting characters we meet in the issue. One aspect I was concerned with before I opened this book was how Interlandi was going to separate her tale from stories that have the same theme. There are similarities with Last Song and other musical tales, but Nicky and Drew are the difference here. The pair are incredibly well written, complete with their own strengths and weaknesses on display from the start. I am eager to see Ecstasy evolve in the next issue.
Buy it! I didn’t quite know what to expect when I started reading Last Song #1. I was worried that I would read a story that has been told many times with nothing new being brought to the table, but I was wrong! The characters grabbed my attention from the start and the black and white art matches the narrative superbly. If you are into character driven tales with music at its heart, then go out and pick up Last Song #1!