Mario Candelaria and Andy Michael’s Fog Line was another release that caught my eye through Twitter and I jumped at the chance at getting my hands on the one-shot.
It tells the story of retired trucker Henry who awakes from a fraught nightmare before settling into his retirement days living with his daughter. While there he does odd jobs and attempts to cross the generational divide by trying to teach and learn from his grandson, Arlo. These interactions over breakfast, dinner or just during the evening brings his attention onto a true crime podcast Arlo listens to and the realisation that this could well be the thing that brings his past back to haunt him.
The unsolved case hitting the podcast surrounds a missing girl from years ago and ties directly to a secret he had hoped to escape but as the story continues we see him tussling with his conscience. His memories hit him hard as they jump to the surface and as he drifts into his own world the concern from his daughter & Arlo becomes a tangible sense of concern that contrasts well with the dilemma Henry faces.
The toing and froing for Henry as he revisits his past builds panic in the central character which injects a frantic pace into a book that thankfully doesn’t rush to it’s conclusion but rather lets things linger for just the right amount of time to unsettling. His interactions with the world around him during that and the flashbacks to the past combine well to help keep the same vibe kicking in from the beginning too and leaving things not quite tied up but then not quite open gives things a slick climax.
The writing from Mario & Andy balances out the personal struggles of Henry and the family life around him exceptionally well which allows the whole thing to take shape and become something to really connect with. That’s matched with some solid art from Andy that becomes a bit sketch-like in places but manages to add something to the frantic pace that builds up in the context of the story. I’m not quite sure the landscape layout makes much of a difference to how well the story looks and feels but it IS a quirk to go down this route and did allow a different perspective with panel layouts.
With it being a character driven story with some major family elements there is a lot of dialogue to be kept under control in some sections but letterer Matt Krozer does a cracking job at keeping that from being too obvious and allowing things to flow without disrupting the pace. Editor Hernán Guarderas has helped tweak things just the right amount to keep the impact at the highest level possible resulting in a brilliant look at a life of a trucker with a secret and the troubles faced when keeping that secret hidden is taken out of your hands.
You can check in with the creators involved to see this and what else they’re working on through the links below: