Biff Bam Pop! has always been a fan of Jeff Lemire’s work.
Whether it’s his post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story, Sweet Tooth (now a successful Netflix series), his graphic novel about identity, The Nobody, his Silver-Age mystery superhero series, Black Hammer, or the search for the Black Barn in his psychological horror tale, Gideon Falls, Lemire has always made compelling stories.
And at the heart of every great story that the writer/artist has produced, has been the search for purpose and the pursuit of identity.
The anxiously awaited Mazebook, a new five-issue monthly comic book series where each issue is nearly double-sized, is another project where the fertile explorations of identity lie at the center of the title’s premise.
But as the title suggests, it’ll be a maze of twists and turns, dead-ends, and meandering, but always important, passageways to get to that centre.
Mazebook follows a lonely building inspector, long grieving for the loss of his daughter, a girl who loved puzzles. After receiving a mysterious phone call from someone claiming to be his daughter, he convinces himself that she can be saved from her otherworldly labyrinth and uses an unfinished maze from her journal along with a map of the city in order to find her and bring her back home.
In many ways, Mazebook is a summation of Lemire’s career to date as well as a step forward. It has the pondering, melancholy heart of his early Essex County Trilogy (2008), the ethereal loneliness experienced in his graphic novel, The Underwater Welder (2012), and the sense of loss that is found in his Royal City (2017) series, all character-driven tales that dive deep into the human condition.
But Mazebook also bridges Lemire’s higher-concept ideas, like the timelessness of love in his science fiction work, Trillium (2013), and the construct of the time-shifting, labyrinthian Black Barn, found in the pages of his psychological Gideon Falls (2018-2020) series. These are stories where form has function – and Lemire brings that artistic endeavour here, seen in the concept of the maze, and built steadily, page upon page, in his new opus.
Dealing with loss and grief and meaning, all of the important aspects encountered in a human lifetime, reading Mazebook is new and familiar and all too human of an experience.
We’ve all been lost in the maze. May we all one day find our own center.
The only way out, is in.
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up the affecting Mazebook #1.
You can read a preview of Mazebook #1 here or check out the trailer for the comic book series directly below.