“The Nice House On The Lake” – Book Five
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Álvaro Martínez Bueno
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray
The Nice House On The Lake #5 opens with the entire gang still reeling from the shocking revelations that closed the previous issue.
Writing reviews for this series is becoming more and more difficult to do without giving away spoilers, and though I know that many people don’t mind them, I so want readers to pick this book up that I refuse to give any away.
Let’s just say that less of what anyone believed to be true actually is, and the more the housemates discover and remember, the less they like it.
A comedian, a scientist, accountant, acupuncturist, pianist, reporter, doctor, writer, consultant, and an artist move in together. All of them have one mutual acquaintance, but some knew each other before the events that drew them together. One of the (extremely few) criticisms I’ve heard about this series is that there are too many characters to keep track of and remember. I disagree. In our everyday day lives we probably only really know a fraction of people we come into regular contact with, but there are certain faces we see in certain places, and, even if we don’t really know them, their faces or presences are missed when they’re not there.
James Tynion has created a diverse, believable, and likable cast of characters, who we’re only really starting to know. Some I really like, and some I understand. There are a few that worry me, and one that downright scares me. All of them speak, act, and look just like people on the street, and I can see myself in many of them. I don’t know if I’d be as strong as some of them if I were in their shoes, though.
Reflections In The Water
I think what really elevates the horror and tension in this series is just how ordinary these people are. This isn’t a comic that’s populated with chisel-jawed, muscle-bound heroes, or drop-dead gorgeous amazons. These people are real, but the situation they’re in is as totally [email protected](#£d up as it could possibly be.
Álvaro Martínez Bueno is drawing one of the best-looking comics on earth, full of some of the most ordinary-looking people to ever appear on the printed page. The irony isn’t lost on me. These pages are rich, textured, deep, layered, and utterly beautiful. I have read and re-read every single issue at least half a dozen times, and I pick up new details every time.
I probably sound like a scratched record, but once again I have to say that the synergy, the almost symbiotic relationship between the line-art, colors, and lettering in this book elevate the final product. People look at me sometimes and ask me why I still read comics, and all I can say is that I want all of them to read this series. The Nice House On The Lake #5, just like the four issues that preceded it, all prove just how great this medium can be. This is literature and this is art. Actually, let me rephrase… this is Literature and this is Art.
Nothing to see here… move along.
Revelations, bombshells, surprises. Every issue delivers them, and each one leaves us breathless. I thought nothing could surprise me after the way issue #4 ended, but the hits just keep on coming. Over the last few decades DC Comics has delivered true comics classics; V For Vendetta, Watchmen, Sandman, Fables. I truly believe that The Nice House On The Lake deserves to be in the same conversation as all of those iconic stories, and high on the list of comics you need to have in your own collections.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment