We all know Skottie Young’s art, right? Great- do we all know Skottie Young’s writing though?
Well, some of you may, but that’s a big no from me, so when I heard Skottie Young was writing a new indie book I was immediately intrigued, and then when I read the title of it, I knew I HAD to read it.
“The Me You Love In The Dark” (TMYLITD)
How ominous is that? How much does that title attack you in the gut? For me, I felt PERSONALLY attacked by this, and I’m not even completely sure why. TMYLITD is written by Skottie Young and art by Jorge Corona. From the first turn of the page, I already know I LOVE the art; in particular, I love the coloring. Corona is a genius here, as the first few pages are notoriously brighter than the rest of the book, but if you look closely, the colors all have a dark tone to them, so no matter how bright the colors seem you can still feel the underlying darkness. Now isn’t that clever, considering the title of the book?
We go 10 pages without even knowing the main character’s name, but for some reason, it isn’t a bother. Ro, as we later learn her name is, is incredibly relatable- it’s almost like we were all meant to, as readers, project ourselves onto her. She rents this house that she is told is haunted and, for multiple pages, all she does is struggle to make art while going back and forth talking to the possible ghost in the house and completing her nightly ritual- put a record on, pour a glass of wine, and sit in front of the canvas.
Ro is so relatable because she’s a struggling artist, just not in the way you think. She’s made the big time, so she’s already made a name for herself, but she’s struggling to create new art; for whatever reason, no matter how “big” she is or what money she has to spend on renting houses for inspiration, she can’t find any, and she continues to get more and more frustrated with herself as the issue continues. As she continues fighting herself and receiving small reminders of the real world she can’t avoid forever, we end up with a predictable, but nonetheless welcome “surprise” at the end of this issue.
I love how Young writes Ro’s dialogue- yes, not inner dialogue, just her dialogue, because she talks to herself out loud. To me, that differentiation makes all the difference to me. I don’t know about y’all, but I talk to myself out loud a LOT, so seeing someone else in a comic do that rather than just having thought bubbles everywhere was incredibly validating. Additionally, as I said earlier, I can’t get enough of Corona’s art. The texture he draws and colors with fits with the tone of the story beautifully. The last page of this issue is one of my favorites to look at; there are so many levels to it that you could probably have an entire podcast episode dedicated just to it alone!
TMYLITD is a fantastic first issue that pulls you in in a way that you may have forgotten works- by throwing a mirror in front of you and saying “this is you too, right?”. I imagine this book is a sort of therapy for Young and Corona and I think it will become therapy for many of us who read it. It hits the heart of what it’s like to be creative and reminds us of part of what makes us most human: our inspirations. I recommend this to anyone and everyone that has ever struggled to make something or has struggled to find inspiration at any point. EVERYONE- pick this up!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi gives this:
4 out of 5 Finger Guns
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