Ann Nocenti, writer
Flavia Biondi, art
Lee Loughridge, colors
Sal Cipriano, letters
In the previous issue, Lana visits a number of relatives and members of the small town of Ruby Falls as she investigates a murder that occurred in the town years ago. She uncovers evidence, which ties back to her grandmother. This issue begins, Lana wakes up after being knocked unconscious after an attack at the end of the last issue. She later meets with Raymond, an old friend and librarian who’s helping her solve the murder of Betty Gallagher. Lana meets with her best friend, Blair, and they work through several professional and personal dilemmas. Specifically, Lana comes to grips with the danger involved in this investigation. Blair must decide whether dancing is more important than her personal values working a club.
This issue grows in emotional depth because of the relationship between Lana and Blair. It’s interesting that both characters have contradictions between stated beliefs and their current behavior. Lana, judging Blair whilst also engaging in dangerous behavior. Blair, deciding whether to dress in a more revealing outfit to gain more clients while going against her previously stated limit to never do this. Life is not black and white for most people. We are frequently pulled in different directions personally and in our jobs. It’s refreshing to see these types of problems happening in the lives of the characters.
The story continues to grow in depth, as well. The murder of Betty Gallagher is tied to a character named Marty Byrne who was previously thought to be dead but is still alive. This twist gives the investigation new life for Lana and Raymond. However, will this be another dead end or will the pair be able to tie the evidence back to Marty?
The art is whimsical and cartoon-like but still full of emotional expression and authenticity. I love the way the panels flow from page to page which helps the story gain steam. I didn’t feel weighted down by visuals because each page clearly showed the characters and the story beats, which I appreciate in a book. This story is really piquing my interest. I can hardly wait for next month’s issue and highly recommend readers who love slice-of-life mystery stories to jump on board. Overall = 9/10