The momentum behind Simon Birks & his recent Blue Fox Comics releases has been impressive and with the newest title set to hit Kickstarter in the next few weeks I was fortunate enough to get hold of a copy for an early look.
The Girl in the Midnight Gown tells the story of Darby who has been missing for days and her twin sister Lela’s dreams seem to be giving her hints to where she might be. They also give a glimpse at the bond between them which extends from the family/twin link through to a shared creative past time of writing stories. Things surrounding the disappearance take a turn when a mysterious message starts Lela on the road to Abe’s barber’s that exists in the space between the real & fantasy world’s and from here the story takes on a whole new direction that I hadn’t been expecting.
Things reach into the fantastic with the new world for Lela to explore and as her new found friend Sarah helps guide her on her journey it’s obvious that nothing is quite what it seems. The story feels like an instant reminder of all the great adventure movies I watched as a kid with Labyrinth, Flight of the Navigator, Big and many others bouncing around my head as I got lost in the story.
While that familiarity resonated with me, the serious edge of Darby going missing became a great anchor to reality for the story while the fantasy elements and the limitless world Simon has created gives the option to expand beyond this initial story. In fact, the backup story builds on that idea as Lela & Darby explore their stories and the fantasy world we’ve just been introduced to which helps keep the momentum going.
Yet again Simon teams up with just the right artist for his project as Juan Fleites manages to capture every key element of the story, from facial expressions through to flying Dragons it all seems so effortless and as the colours enhance the differing moods from each of those elemtns the book feels complete in the creative teams hands. A double-whammy of strong stories from Blue Fox Comics again and their increasing number of titles are jam packed with the type of quality that have drawn me to small press & indie comics in the first place……keep an eye out for the Kickstarter soon.