Long Distance #3
Long Distance #3 continues the comic romance by Thom Zahler in just the right ways.
At first, Carter and Lee are floating on air. They’ve hit a major new point in their relationship, and their exhilaration at sharing their joy with friends floats off the pages. (It’s a modern romance, in that whether or not to say “I love you” is more significant than swapping bodily fluids.)
I like the way there’s a whole cast here, with co-workers and family playing a part, particularly as the couple introduces their new partners to the other people important to them. And we get to see struggles the two have beyond their long-distance travels, with work conflicts being raised, and often cleverly solved. Carter and Lee are more than boy and girl in love; they’re three-dimensional people we can identify with.
Zahler’s art is full of exaggerated shapes, as though a wall of caricatures have come to life, but they’re expressive and distinctive. Nobody has a chin as square as Carter’s, but it makes him look solid and dependable and nicely old-fashioned.
There are some fun milestones in this issue, with Carter getting sick and Lee worrying that she can’t be there to take care of him, and the two later taking a trip to Vegas. To go with green Columbus and taupe Chicago, Las Vegas is bright lemon yellow, which reminded me of all its neon light.
I like the way Lee’s career steps, forward and back, are portrayed, and I love the way Carter thinks up surprises for her, including one particularly gorgeous firework page by Zahler. His details are adorable — for instance, when he shows Lee reviewing her email, one of the throwaway subject lines is “Kickstarter Update: Ed on DVD”, a project I could definitely get behind. Another references a Love & Capes TV show. Aside for pandering to my nerd loves, the jokes are actually funny, too.
Long Distance #4, concluding the story, is due out this coming Wednesday. I’m on pins and needles until I know whether the relationship of these two crazy kids makes it, because I’m rooting for them. Their love seems solid and real, and I want it to continue.