REVIEW: 'What's The Furthest Place From Here' #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou


 WHAT'S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE? #1

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg

Artist: Tyler Boss

Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: November 10, 2021

Cover Price: $4.99

TRIPLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE!

A post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story from 4 Kids Walk into a Bank's TYLER BOSS &

MATTHEW ROSENBERG.

The world has ended. All that remains are gangs of children living among the ruins. But Sid believes there must be something more out there. When she disappears into the wastelands, her gang will risk everything to bring her home. A story about the things that matter most-your survival, your loved ones, and your record collection.

Score:

★★★★★ (5/5)

Post-apocalyptic stories are a subgenre unto itself and it's hard to find a fresh angle we haven't seen before unless you're the creative team behind "4 Kids Walk into a Bank." Matthew Rosenberg and Tyler Boss have collaborated as co-storytellers in "What's the Furthest Place from Here?" and it's a refreshing punk rock society that depends on young adults in a world free of adults but beset with rival gangs. Coming of age involves finding the music that defines you, literally, standing by your crew, and surviving some mysterious forces. 

[Every issue of this post-apocalyptic coming-of-age series will offer an extremely limited number of Deluxe Editions, featuring an exclusive cover and a 7" record with two songs from some of today’s best indie and punk bands, recorded specially for this project.]

Rosenberg and Boss don't provide a lot of background, there's no prologue, the reader jumps into this world blind and is instantly immersed in the trials and tribulations of these characters. They're held up in an old record store where they look out for each other and rock out to the jams of better days. Music plays a part in identifying themselves, finding meaning in an album that represents who they are. Someone is admonished for choosing Hall & Oates as their spirit album and as controversial as that may be (Private Eyes still rocks, by the way) it shows a society that's limited in scope to these gangs who must help each other grow up in a world that's in disarray. 

There's a rawness to the world that's depicted by Boss. It's a dressed-down look at a wasteland with kids in jeans and t-shirts fighting a gang in pig masks in a neighborhood of overturned cars and broken windows. Seemingly, there's not much to be gained in this turf war as far as we can tell. There are mysterious, potentially supernatural, beings called the Strangers who might be responsible for these kids' very existence. There's talk of venturing into the Wasteland and the City, so Rosenberg drops enough hints at things to come. Boss has the eye of a director giving scenes a cinematic quality in the way the characters are framed as they talk. In a lot of ways, Boss and Rosenberg employ skills found in inspirational film directors like Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, Jonathan Demme, and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Ultimately, just like when '4 Kids Walk into a Bank' made its stunning debut, Rosenberg's ear for dialogue and pacing elevates this dystopian punk rock drama. There's action and violence but the tissue that ties it together is the great exchange of dialogue that happens between the characters. Call it character-driven if you'd like but I could hear these kids talk for another 64 pages. There's a certain cadence or rhythm that happens as the characters go back and forth. It's brilliantly portrayed by letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou as the word balloons sometimes overlap as one character cuts off the other. This produced the same goosebumps that were elicited while reading '4 Kids' for the first time. 

'What's The Furthest Place From Here' #1 is a fun but powerful work of storytelling from a team of creatives at the height of their powers. Rosenberg, Boss, and Otsmane-Elhaou put together an irresistible mix of High Fidelity meets Mad Max that stylistically stands alone. So put on The Stooges (or Hall & Oates, we won't tell) and enjoy this marvelous new title.

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