Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #173 by Drew Barth
A long while ago, I wrote about the first issue of Friday by Ed Brubaker, Marcos Martín, and Muntsa Vicente. It was one of the best examples of the post-YA genre at the time of publication and another piece of Panel Syndicate’s ever-growing digital publishing wheelhouse. But that was two years ago. Since then, there’s been a few changes. A few more issues have released and the first three have been compiled into a physical collection for your bookshelf. In that time, these few issues have shown that they’re still some of the best comics to come out this decade.
The last time we had seen Friday, we were introduced to Friday Fitzhugh and the town of Kings Hill. Friday was returning to her hometown after a couple months in college for Christmas and was immediately roped into another mystery by her friend, Lancelot Jones. The pair, before Friday left for college, had been inseparable. They had solved mysteries around Kings Hill for years together—many more than should be possible for a town of less than a thousand people—and went back into the same groove upon Friday’s return. But that groove also let Lancelot avoid having any kind of discussion with Friday about what happened between them before she left. Or that the case they are working on is somehow linked to dreams Friday has been having. Or that there are other forces outside of their typical scope looking to ensure they don’t solve this case.
Friday, as it is right now, is easily some of the best illustrative work Martín has put out. And with Vicente on colors, the pages of this story fully envelop the eye. And some of this comes with the idea that nearly every major moment in the story has its own color palette. Much of the story takes place with an interplay between blue and yellow—a contrast that creates a more muted mood as these are primarily utilized in the woods of Kings Hill. But there are interruptions of that palette. A sudden red sky in the middle of the night or a panel of a character with the background a singular color snaps the eye into attention. It is drawn in and enveloped as the yellows and blues blend into reds and purples before this chapter of the story closes. Those specific moments are stitched into a reader’s memory as a result of the colors that become so strongly associated with them.
It’s difficult to overstate just how good of a comic Friday has become since that first issue. It was already some of the best comics of the year when it came out, and this collection of its first three issues only proves that Brubaker, Martín, and Vicente are some of the best creators in the medium. Friday is also the kind of series that you can’t help but want to dive more into, but the wait for each issue has become worth it every single time.
Get excited. Get mysteries.