Proof #23 (Image – Grecian / Rossmo / Casey / Tindall)
The Julia arc concludes with a cold-blooded murder. Queen Victoria would have censored this issue.
If it is true that tragedy defines a character, then the 6-part “Julia” arc is the dictionary for Gulliver, also known as know as John “Proof” Prufrock – a government special agent who also happens to be a “bigfoot” and one of my favorite comic characters as of late.
I have been a big fan of Alex Grecian over the last couple years and I think he has done some really incredible, top shelf comic projects (Proof, Seven Sons), but “Julia” might move to the top of my list for him.
Okay, if you haven’t read anything up to this point, issue #23 (or any other previous issue read singularly) might be a WTH? But as a collected story, “Julia” is a gorgeous tale. It has enough action with premise of the threat and hunt of Springheel Jack to draw almost any reader in – and once they are in they will be mesmerized by the developments of and between Gulliver, Julia and Gilgamesh and their different takes on how their kind should interact with humans. At it’s heart, “Julia” is a haunting, tragic love story. Wonderfully told. Brilliantly scaffolded. And fitting perfectly within the “proof”-verse previously established. Alex Grecian once again, in the pages of Proof, establishes that maybe some of the best writing happening today is going on in books that don’t make it to Wizard’s commercially driven hot-list.
Before I gush too much over Grecian, I also have to praise the artistic framing of Riley Rossmo and Dave Casey. This creative team takes a fantastic story and gives it life. From innovative page layouts (that enhace the plot rather than distracting) to gorgeous colors to beautiful splash pages. Proof really is the book to beat!
In issue #23, the reader gets the bonus of an essay on the history of Julia, to help round out the story and another 2 pages from an underexposed Kelly Tindall – Where is the Archie Snow one-shot? Really? Why only 1-2 pages at a time? We want a break-out Archie project! Proof-readers unite!
Issue grade: Huge A+