Long Distance #1
Out today is the first issue of Thom Zahler’s new project, after a lengthy run on Love and Capes, a terrific superhero romantic comedy. It’s Long Distance, and this four-issue miniseries drops the genre trappings to tell a straightforward romance.
As you might guess from the title, it’s about a situation many of us have been in (or thought about). Carter is an ad agency art director from Columbus, Ohio; Lee is a NASA research scientist (and bravo to Thom for that career choice) from Chicago. They meet and talk in a New York airport during a snowstorm, giving them plenty of time to establish themselves to each other (and us). He likes that she’s smart. She likes that he’s funny and creative. The dialogue glistens like a good movie. But what do they do about living hundreds of miles apart?
The most interesting artistic aspect is Thom’s use of color. The book is monochrome, but in different shades. When they’re together, it’s purple-toned. Apart, he’s a deep green, and she’s a sepia-flavored brown. It sounds like a gimmick, but it’s really effective. Particularly when they’re each in separate locations but talking on the phone. As the scene cuts back and forth, so does the color.
I love the way the two reference pop culture the way people I know do. (Particularly The Cutting Edge.) I also loved the Twitter scene. Much like Carter’s friend, I’m very glad I didn’t have to deal with social media when I started dating, because it’s a good way to tie yourself in mental knots quickly. Here, though, it’s entertaining to see them navigate all the details of getting to know each other better.
Long Distance is funny and touching and inspiring. I’m eager to follow Carter and Lee and hope the best for them. Love and relationships are topics important to so many people that they’re constantly appearing in movies and TV shows; we should have more comics about them too. Long Distance is a terrific, modern take on the genre.
Each issue is $4.99 and double-sized. Zahler has posted a lengthy preview (PDF link) so you can get a good feel for his style.