“MEMOIR” #2 (Comic Review)

Posted by & filed under .

Originally published at Fangoria.com on Feb 19th, 2011

In the second installment of the six-issue miniseries, MEMOIR (from Image Comics) continues to keep its readers guessing what the puzzling mystery is. Everyone in the small town of Lowesville is responsible for a murder that took place 10 years ago, but none are aware of what they really did. Are these residents faking their memory loss or do they actually remember what they perpetrated? The weird inhabitants of Lowesville will remind readers of David Lynch characters.

In the previous issue, amnesia struck each resident living in Lowesville, wiping their memories clean. The townspeople couldn’t remember where they were and what they were doing. Now on the 10-year anniversary, a cynical and hard-nosed journalist arrives to uncover the truth behind the baffling event. The locals have more reason to fear Trent McGowan each time he asks another unwanted question.

During his investigation, Trent uncovered a major jaw-dropping revelation. Deep underground, in the middle of the streets, a pile of dead bodies had been buried. Someone went to a lot of trouble keeping the corpses hidden from the public. Now that the horrible secret is out in open, Trent asks himself, “How many of the locals are responsible for this diabolical murder?”

Mr. Rockman knows what really happened the night before everyone lost their minds. He might possibly be the only one who still has his memory intact. This lone survivor is risking his own life just talking to the journalist. But is Mr. Rockman telling the whole truth or has he fabricated more lies to lead the reporter to another dead end? In a small town full of big secrets, Trent isn’t quite sure who to trust. Finding the truth behind the murder is just part of the puzzle. Something else is lurking in the woods, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Behind the seemingly ever-growing trees and plants, the dead are chanting, “They’re coming…”

Author Ben McCool takes a slow and calculated approach to building his mystery. McCool lays out certain clues at different stages while adding more head-scratching questions to readers. In this issue, the writer moves away from Trent’s first-person narration to give more depth to the secondary characters. McGowan continues to be a self-absorbed protagonist who won’t stop in his pursuit for success.

Each black-and-white panel by artist Nikki Cook heightens the creepiness and strangeness of Lowesville. This small town is completely weird and appealing at the same time. Every character has a hideous feature, but they are all distinct. Due to their memory loss, the faces of the town residents have been physically scarred. You don’t want to live here, but you’d have to take pictures before leaving.

Well-executed in style and storytelling, MEMOIR #2 builds suspense with a growing list of red herrings and unexpected plot twists. Readers will definitely be hooked by this compelling murder mystery. If you’re looking for a comic book that’s endlessly weird, this is the one for you.