Posted on April 3, 2013 AT 07:36pm
Jim McCann’s Mind The Gap has been a beautiful, story heavy series thus far, full of major dialog exchanges and heavy plot points. For the first eight issues, McCann has worked hard to build a major story that has increased in intensity and mystery, but with the ninth installment of the series, McCann has taken a step back to allow the talented artists tell the story for a change. This issue of the second arc, “Wish You Were Here”, the series goes silent, letting each panel tell the story that focuses on a few major characters. Actions speak louder than words in Mind The Gap in this risky but incredible issue.
This issue focuses on a few of the major “cast members” of this series, showing the huge impact that the theater culture has on the characters in the story. With no words other than those written on paper or in text messages, this installment is a quick but incredibly important read as it ties into the rest of the narrative. As the story begins to unfold, major plot points are delivered silently, all shown through the dynamic images of series artist Rodin Esquejo, along with artists Arif Prianto and Dan McDaid. This “silent issue” made a lot of promises before its release, and it delivers on every level.
Because McCann didn’t actually do any writing in this issue (likely just contributing to the overall structure), there is nothing to really say about him in this issue, but his overall narrative shines through in all aspects of the issue. When the next issue picks up it’ll be a major plot point, so McCann taking a breather from the series is likely a good thing, especially considering how this issue was presented.
The artwork is mostly done not by Esquejo, who does nearly all the artwork, but by Dan McDaid, who makes an appearance for the bulk of the story. Esquejo and Prianto put in their stellar work into a few of the pages, but McDaid carries the book this issue. His art style is vastly different from the realistic beauty that Esquejo and Prianto have made a staple of the title, and while it’s a bit off-putting to see in this book, it somehow seems to work as the bulk of the silent issue. McDaid’s work is much more abstract and features a much more shallow color pallet than Prianto has used throughout the title, which shows the direction the series is taking with this issue: a different one than all the rest, something that is proven with the style and presentation of this issue.
Summary: There is little more to be said about this series than that it is an incredible work of art. On every page, a small piece of a complex narrative is revealed, leaving it poised to make a huge turn when the tenth issue emerges. Even without dialog, this series manages to amaze, leaving many clues and revealing more in the plot of this issue as the others, if not more. Much adulation goes to Rodin Esquejo, Arif Priano and Dan McDaid for taking this unusual idea and making it work brilliantly, especially in a series that is as narrative as this.
Pros: Brilliant idea, dynamic storytelling.
Cons: Incredibly different art styles clash during transitions.
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