Review: Lazaretto #3

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
October 31st, 2017

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Lazaretto #3
Comics
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Review of: Lazaretto #3
Price:
Infectious

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On October 31, 2017
Last modified:October 31, 2017

Summary:

If you've bought this you have in your hands an infectious, stomach churning comic unlike anything currently on the shelf. If you haven't bought this, you are missing out.

Review of: Lazaretto #3
Price:
Infectious

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On October 31, 2017
Last modified:October 31, 2017

Summary:

If you've bought this you have in your hands an infectious, stomach churning comic unlike anything currently on the shelf. If you haven't bought this, you are missing out.

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As the virus continues to spread, Chapman and Levang continue to disgust their readers in the pages of Lazaretto. Our contributor, Darryll Robson, is hiding out in issue 3, hoping to bring you an uninfected insight into this months offering.

College on lock down, seniors running rampant and a virus that brings out the worst, and grossest, in people. Lazaretto continues to prove that it is the ickiest thing on the shelves while laying out some even more disturbing truths about societies views. You can come for the zombie-esq entertainment but you will have to face some uncomfortable truths as a consequence. Lazaretto from Boom! Studios opens up the American College hierarchy and shines a light on some of its more disturbing aspects.

Synopsis

Nothing is well in the isolated dorm. The results of the reigning chaos are evident everywhere and the virus has infected almost everyone. Those few, our main characters included, who aren’t affected are hidden in fear around the building.

Chris and Tamara believe that they can reason with the outside world but their captors don’t appear to be fairing too well either. One of the guards issues a warning and indicates that the outside world is no safer then inside the quarantine area.

Meanwhile, Henry the RA is convinced that he is in charge, that he is lord above all others.

Story continues below

And Mary enters phase 3 of the virus.

Credit: Boom! Studios

Analysis

Everywhere you look in this issue there is evidence of the sickness, even the circular shape of some of the panels seems to suggest the spread of the virus. The slightly wobbly outlines create a sense of unevenness and a breakdown of order. Neither Clay McLeod Chapman nor Jey Levang want the reader to be comfortable while reading this comic which is why Chapman litters the script with broken speech and Levang colors the entire thing with a sickly watercolor wash. In essence it is the visual representation of nausea. It is that urge to vomit when someone else is being sick.

There are two themes battling for dominance in this issue: claustrophobia and obstruction. As the story has progressed, the world has shrunk for the heroes of the piece. Attending University should be the first step into the great wide world, the world should be their oyster but instead their environment has shrunk. The environmental covering that surrounds the dormitory traps the characters within the building but also traps them with their secrets and personal fears. It is only day three in this narrative but already the fear is forcing some of the characters to seek a way out; a need to run from society. Tamara has been in hiding since the death of her mother and she feels ostracised because of her strong religious beliefs; Chris is gay and fears how he will be treated if anyone found out. Together they are able to form a bond but these personal worries enhance the pressure they feel. If their respective secrets get out the society they find themselves in will tear them apart so they make a pact to seek help and escape. But his proves to be difficult as the narrative, and art work, expresses.

Firstly, the clean white gutters act as barriers to the characters. Their crispness against the deluge of sickly colors makes them stand out, reminding the reader of their ridged shape; only the circular panels deviate from a standard rectangular shape, and these are like blotches on the surface of the page. The gutters act as barriers that Chris and Tamara are trapped behind. Throughout the story they have a number of physical barriers they attempt to get passed but these are reinforced by the solid gutters, locking them into the panels and into the nightmare of a story.

Credit: Boom! Studios

The gutters are not the only barriers in the pages of the comic, there are a whole number of obstacles in the way of Chris and Tamara. There are the straight forward glass doors of the main entrance; the clanking chains of the locked fire exits; cross hatched, sealed doorways; rusted, infectious looking air conditioning vents. It appears that everywhere they turn there is something blocking them.

However, the most overpowering theme in this issue of Lazaretto is claustrophobia. As the central characters begin to see their options diminish, the walls start to close in. The panels start to get cramped and overcrowded. Whenever there is a crowd scene there doesn’t appear to be enough room to fit the characters in, they are either squashed together in the centre of the panel, huddled together like frightened animals, or pushed to the very edge of the panel to be cut off by the gutters. The backgrounds in the panels are for the most part sparse, devoid of substance. There is nothing welcoming in this building anymore and Levang doesn’t want the reader to feel at home at all. Everything is stripped away and closed in to heighten that locked in feeling. As the issue progresses any hope of getting out is reduced to virtually zero.

This story is a pleasure to read, even though the content is anything but pleasant. Chapman has written a very tight, fear inducing script which draws the reader in and traps them there with the characters. He creates a world that no-one would want to be a part of but makes it almost impossible to walk away from. Add to this the wonderfully disturbing artwork and you have in your hands an infectious, stomach churning comic unlike anything currently on the shelf.

Story continues below

Lazaretto #3

  • 4

Infectious

If you've bought this you have in your hands an infectious, stomach churning comic unlike anything currently on the shelf. If you haven't bought this, you are missing out.

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