Where The Body Was Advance Review: Comic Book Perfection

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In Where The Body Was, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips team up for yet another crime graphic novel that once again exceeds all expectations.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Where The Body Was Review:

In Where the Body Was, we’re visiting a small cul-de-sac where, per the title, a body is discovered. But that’s not where things start nor the whole focus of the book… Which despite the pedigree of the team involved still manages to exceed all expectations.

Kicking things off, host Alex Zalben said, “This is unlike any of the other mystery books this team has done… It has a little bit more of the format and rhythm of a romance book if anything, and you can definitely feel [that] while you’re reading it. [This book] is as close to comic book perfection as you can get.”

Justin Tyler agreed. He called it a “surprising story” from a team that’s always delivering “really high-level creation, and taking some creative different approaches to a story like this.” Tyler was in particular impressed with the book digging into the characters’ “flaws, and let them guide them [to] a lot of, maybe not great places, but the places that they feel like they want to go… It was just such a pleasure to read this, especially coming out in December. Definitely something to give to anybody in your life that likes a good story.”

Pete LePage clarified that due to the sexual content in the book you probably don’t want to give this book to a child. Zalben added, “Yes, this is definitely, 100% a very, very adult book and adult mystery dealing with some complicated emotions.”

Taking a different tact, Zalben talked about how Ed Brubaker “is a master of perspectives and giving you very different characters that feel completely human and lived in, but fresh in a way that you haven’t seen before.” He also lauded how Sean Phillips bucks the typical comic book trend of similar-looking body types, and instead delivers, “people that [feel like they] actually live on a street.”

“There’s a documentary conceit to this book that works in [its] favor and makes it feel different as well,” Zalben continued. He was also impressed by the pace of the book, which tended to answer questions and mysteries just as the reader is beginning to wonder about them. “Fantastic book. One of the joys of it is how it unfolds. Perfectly paced, perfect comic book.”

Where the Body Was hits stores on December 13, 2023, from Image Comics.

Where The Body Was Official Synopsis:

ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS, bestselling creators of PULP, RECKLESS, and CRIMINAL, are back with a new original graphic novel that readers will be obsessed with…

A boarding house full of druggies. A neglected housewife. A young girl who thinks she’s a superhero. A cop who wants to be left alone. And a private detective looking for a runaway girl. These stories collide one fateful summer in WHERE THE BODY WAS, a tale of love and murder in the suburbs, told from a dozen different points of view. All the neighbors on the block have an opinion about the murder and how it happened, but which of them is telling the truth?

WHERE THE BODY WAS is a tour-de-force from grandmasters ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS. Starting with a map of the crime scene, this murder mystery follows the ripples of this killing as they echo through decades of love and loss and passion and violence. Like a true crime podcast crossed with a long-lost diary, WHERE THE BODY WAS is unlike anything BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS have ever done and a must-have for all their avid fans!

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