Long Lost #2
Publisher: Scout Comics
Writer: Matthew Erman
Artist: Lisa Sterle
Review by Mark Bouchard
Long Lost #2 sees Piper and Frances drawn back to their mother by yet another string: the masked figure. The interaction we waited all of issue one for is cut short by Frances, by way of a tree branch turned weapon. Invitation to their estranged mother’s birthday party in-hand, they pile into Piper’s car and head for their hometown, if only to reunite Piper and Pockets somewhere down the line. However, after a series of car-related incidents that mysteriously occur one after another after the two sisters arrive at the edge of their hometown, it appears as if Piper is set to enter the forest, despite the masked figure’s warning: “Beware the woods when you return home…”
Erman didn’t write as much body horror into this issue, as he did the first (key words being: “as much”), but that doesn’t mean it was any less unsettling. The masked figure contributes a great deal to this with their irregular speech patterns and hints at supernatural cults concerned with Piper and Frances’ mother. However, it was not the unsettling nature of Erman’s plots and words that made this issue stand out, but rather their familial nature. This issue was extremely character driven— and rightfully so. The majority of the issue is spent in a car, and what better way to reconnect with your estranged sister than by being stuck in a small space with them for hours on end?
Sterle’s command over facial features continues to bring Piper and Frances to life. I feel as if I’m really getting to know the two sisters through their individual body language. This is a quality I often find lacking in comics, even character-driven ones, which is why I cannot stress its importance enough. Sterle’s emotional expertise is cemented by her continued use of diverse background inking decisions. Her choice of tool underscores the tone of each panel, which, in turn, makes each tonal shift or emotional change pop, regardless of how subtle it may be.
Verdict: Buy it.
The slow-build of issue one has already begun to pay off. The team of Sterle and Erman continue to impress, providing readers with two characters who could not be more different on the surface, but are bound by blood and a shared childhood. I hesitate to call Long Lost a ‘slice of life’ book because of the supernatural aspects. But two issues in, we’ve already been given characters that feel real with problems that feel real. This is one of my favorite books on the shelf, and I can’t wait until issue #3.