Review: LODGER #1 Is A New, Mysterious Thriller From The Laphams

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Lodger is a new crime comic out this week by David and Maria Lapham (Stray Bullets), and it’s a captivating ride sure to get its hooks in you.

About the comic:
Ricky Toledo is on the hunt for Lodger, a travel blogger who is murdering his way through the midwest. She follows him to a small town, Blossom, in the wake of his latest attack.

And if you think that’s all this comic is about, you’re out of your mind. Lodger #1 throws you right into the middle of this story, and it’s immediately clear that there’s much more going on than meets the eye. The Laphams don’t bother explaining much either. You have to start picking things up and piecing them out as you go along. By the end, you have a hundred questions and need the next issue ASAP. It’s captivating, engaging storytelling.

lodger review idw lapham

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We don’t learn much about the characters from this first installment, and that’s by design. This issue isn’t a character study; it’s a peek into this surreal, vicious world. The Laphams provide a general quick-look at Ricky and Lodger’s personalities, but there’s nothing about their backstory or relationship. Again, this mystery element is at the heart of Lodger, and it’s what makes it so compelling. The Laphams don’t hold their audience’s hand; there’s a trust in place.

Lodger is the first black-and-white miniseries for IDW’s Black Crown imprint. Fans of Stray Bullets know what they’re in for in terms of David Lapham’s art. The black-and-white instantly creates a crime/noir atmosphere, as well as a gritty, underground one. The dialogue and sound effects seem to be hand-lettered and embedded into the art, which further sucks you in.

Lapham has a very unique style in terms of panel structure and layout. It’s nothing flashy, mostly grids. But each panel feels like a snapshot, each one essential to the story. It’s simple and effective. Lapham is a master visual storyteller. And even though the panel density is on the high side – the typical page has eight panels – it never slows down the pacing.

Fans of the Laphams and Stray Bullets are already going to check out Lodger. But if you’re unfamiliar with their work, and especially if you’re a fan of crime stories, use this as the perfect entryway into their dark, twisted, surreal world.

Lodger #1 is created and written by David and Maria Lapham, and drawn by David Lapham. The variant cover is by Bill Sienkiewicz. Shelly Bond edits the series.

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