The Afterlife, Hemingway, and Camera Dogs – Exodus – The Life After #2 Review

GameStop, Inc.

exodusExodus – The Life After #2

Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated & colors by Gabo
Lettered by Crank!

The afterlife ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

A story about what happens after death, specifically the afterlife and how it works can be a tricky proposition. The first requirement for characters to participate is for them to be dead. Normally that takes the wind out of the stakes; death isn’t a concern, so there needs to be other things that make the character’s ordeals interesting.

A popular go to is turning the afterlife into a strangled bureaucracy. It worked for Number Cruncher, Beetlejuice and Heroes in Hell. Nothing is more terrifying (in tedium) than being stuck waiting for help or judgement from someone who is overworked, underpaid, and has a million other cases just like yours. If you consider the threat of an eternity trapped in such a grinding banality the stakes are high indeed. Now add in the idea that this entire system is close to collapsing into chaos and the afterlife is life and death times ten.

This is the driving idea behind Fialkov’s Exodus. Someone named Jude (according to the preamble, the son of God) can fix things but Jude is lost. Stuck in purgatory. A foul mouthed kid, Esse, and none other than Ernest Hemingway are searching for Jude. Their only lead is Esse’s mom, Nettie, who is suffering from amnesia or some memory trauma from dying. Oh and she can shoot balls of destructive energy too.

A bureaucrat named Tom who had been watching them through Hemingway’s dog (just roll with it) explains that the whole system is a hairs breadth away from total collapse. Apparently this is a secret the powers that be want to protect because Tom is punished for telling them about the impending chaos and helping the rebel trio.
All this might sound too weird, dense, and off putting on paper but I assure you Exodus – The Life After unfolds both visually and plot wise into something pretty unique. And “unfolds” is the best way to describe the progression.

For starters Fialkov’s writing manages to be both minimal and densely packed with ideas. Some writers, especially comic writers, would be tempted to shoot off verbal fireworks when dealing with such an out there concept as the afterlife. I kept thinking of how verbose and made-up-wordy this would be if, say, Grant Morrison was writing. Fialkov’s style has always been a bit more direct even with the high-concept material he often tackles. The closest comparison might be Johnathan Hickman but not as smarty-pants. The structure of Exodus benefits from his minimalist approach simply because the high-concept ideas don’t come across as such. For example: at one point Tom talks about how things in the afterlife haven’t gone as planned “… When we installed this stuff we never predicted, well, anything you people have done.” That line says a lot without saying much at all. Plus it’s very much in line with what a middle management type, as in Tom a self-described “middle management type”, would say. This kind of writing is no easy trick and Fialkov makes it look natural.

Gabo’s art shows just what can be done with indie comic sensibility. The art isn’t showy or bombastic but has a organic flow, even when “reality” becomes unhinged. Gabo melds elements of softer water color-ish anime, lo-fi indie comic idiosyncrasies, and straight up strangeness all while juxtaposing with the utter banality of this afterlife. As the issue progresses Gabo pushes the boundaries from a plunge from a meadow into existential and literal darkness to an urban street populated by a dog, cars, and giant red slugs to a version of Escher’s “Relativity” as imagined by Pac Man to God being a multi-page psychedelic gibbering mouther from Dungeons and Dragons by way of an issue of “Heavy Metal”. Just stunning.

This is why “unfolds” seems the best word to describe the nature of Exodus because the ideas reveal themselves visually and plot-wise the further you progress down the metaphorical rabbit hole (Wonderland being another influence)…

Combining influences like Anime, Beetlejuice, Heroes in Hell, M.C. Escher, psychedelic art, Kafka, and even Cabin in the Woods; Exodus – The Life After vibes like browsing around the smoky haze dorm room of the coolest most interesting art/philosophy student you’ve ever met.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

‘Lumina’ is a Incredible First for Debuting Director, Gino McKoy – Review

‘Lumina‘ is an incredible concept and an exceptional first run for...

Aaron Augenblick Returns for Season 2 of ‘City Island’ on PBS KIDS – Interview

Acclaimed Animator, Aaron Augenblick Returns with a Second Season of ‘City...

Event News Event Reviews
The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

‘An Inspector Calls’ Challenges the Morals of the Bourgeois – Review

‘An Inspector Calls‘ Challenges the Morals and Ethics of the Bourgeois...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame

Mhuhahahahahahahah!

Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Blood on the cactus pt 4 (?)

There are some weird guys here that want invest in a...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...