“This is the story of the life and death of Sadie Dawkins, the most amazing, beautiful, exciting, smart, funny, amazing, ( I KNOW I said that already!) gorgeous, smokin’, kick-ass, cool, so-so cool woman that ever was or ever will be…”
ABOVE: Space Needle.
…or so claims unreliable narrator Danny Noonan at the beginning of David Lapham’s “Young Liars,” an 18-issue would-be explosion of punk-rock attitude and nearly nonsensical story-telling. Don’t ask me to say much about the plot: it involves a crew of uber-hip 20-somethings wreaking havoc in New York and beyond, escaping from Spiders from Mars… and piling up layer upon layer of lies in the process, which at times makes for a very frustrating read.
Lapham suggests an accompanying soundtrack for each issue: his mix is heavy on Bowie and the Sex Pistols, and is far more 1978 than 2008, which is when the story takes place- not that it is grounded on anything like a temporal reality. In the process of straining much too hard to find its niche between realistically gritty and psychedelically spacey, “Young Liars” forgets to be compelling or comprehensible. Untimely (or is that merciful?) cancellation by Vertigo means that the story cuts itself short with an ending which would be unsatisfactory if I hadn’t found it almost a relief: there wasn’t a character in these pages that couldn’t be described with the adjective “insufferable.”
This never quite came alive f0r me in, not like “Murder Me Dead ” or the awesomeness that was “Stray Bullets.” That doesn’t really knock down Lapham in my book, (if “The Strain” didn’t do it, why should “Young Liars”?) But I do head into his stand-alone graphic novel, “Silverfish,” with some trepidation.
RATING: GOOD ENOUGH