I’m really developing a love/hate relationship with Lemire’s need to flip his frames upside down. At first, it was pretty darn awesome. And while it has worked for half of the issues, it doesn’t work well in this one. When you flip the comic over to read “the other side of the story”, there is no indication on how to read the frames. Zilch. Do you read right to left on the left page and then left to right on the right, or the right and then the left? Or since it’s flipped, do you read it Japanese style, meaning left to right?
In short, it’s frustrating. Especially in this issue when the page flips are unnecessary. There is no narrative point to them, aside from the fact that it’s been established that this is how Lemire likes to tell Nika and William’s story whenever they are apart. But in the case of this issue, it’s very easy to tell which side you’re reading, and the page flips make it hard to keep a hold of the narrative flow.
Story-wise, however, ‘Trillium’ continues to be one of my best pulls this year. Nika and William finally make it back to each other and meet in the future timeline (which had been Nika’s, but apparently it’s now William’s timeline) and that mysterious phage that had every one scared in the beginning. You know, The Caul? Well, apparently, there is no hiding from it now.
Also, there is a bonus in this issue. Lemire provided the translation for the alien Atabithian language, so now we can all go back and see what the aliens have been saying for the past six issues. My money is on hippie mumbo jumbo. I can’t wait to go back and see.
So yes, the format frustrated me in this issue, but it was still worth my while. I’m excited to see what Lemire has for us in the next and final issue.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artsit: Jeff Lemire and Jose Villarrubia
Cover: Jeff Lemire