Comic Book Reviews - The Price Review
Category: Comic Book Reviews
Writer: Glenn Arseneau
The first time I read The Price, I finished in complete confusion about what happened. It didn’t seem to make any sense. So I read it a second time, and with the knowledge of my first reading (and the ending) I started to pick up subtle things in the background and art. (Page 9 is a perfect example of this. If you’re reading digital, zoom in and check it out. I’m not sure if this would be as effective in print.) My third reading was just for fun and to see what else I could pick up between the lines. I can’t fault the story for my initial confusion, since all of the elements of understanding are there, you just don’t realize that until the end. I’d put it in the category of stuff like Sixth Sense or Inception, where multiple viewings are required to get the full picture.
After a few reads, I realized that my reaction to my first read was probably exactly what Arseneau was aiming for. I felt all the confusion and disorientation that Erin was feeling, taking the journey with her instead of just watching her as an observer. I was in the story and not just reading it. It’s not always a pleasant feeling for a reader, but once you realize what it is, it’s very rewarding.
I love the art here and it’s perfect for the story. The style reminds me a bit too much of Ben Templesmith, but I like Templesmith so I won’t complain. There’s some very subtle stuff in the coloring that hints at what’s really happening, but again, that’s something you might not notice the first time.
When I read a comic these days, I look at it through three sets of eyes—first as a lover and long time reader of comics. Second as a creator of comics trying to get my own creative work out to the world. And third as a reviewer and critic, whether it’s something I’m reading to review or just for my own pleasure. As a creator and critic I took the time required to look deeper and enjoy this. It’s my “common reader” eyes that worry me here. Maybe I don’t have enough faith in today’s common reader, but I don’t think they would give this the time and attention required to truly enjoy it.
I appreciate the story much more looking back on it now than I did while reading it. I’m having more fun going back and analyzing it than I did reading it. That’s a good time for me, but not for everyone. So I really can’t recommend it for everyone.
Final word—if you want quick, mindless fun, find it somewhere else. If you want to challenge yourself to think a bit, experience something a little different, and be left with a story that’s still in your head long after you finish reading, this book is for you.