Comics – Left #1

Susan Omand discovers something different as she gets Left at a comic-con...

The thing I like best about comic-cons, apart from the fun atmosphere, the great cosplay and everything else, is the sheer variety of comics on offer from both new and established creators and I delight in finding something totally unique with each visit.

I don’t know what made me stop at Steven Ingram’s table at Dunfermline Comic-con. Maybe it was the colourful but unintimidating layout, maybe it was Steven’s ready smile and willingness to talk with anyone that showed an interest in his work. However stop I did and, after a hugely informative and entertaining chat finding out more about his comics, I left... with a signed copy of Left #1.

This is the first part of a 4 part comic series that tells the story of Samantha Scott, a young woman who lives a fairly normal life with her flatmate Kat in Edinburgh. That is, until she receives a hand-written letter which has been slipped under their front door one morning. This letter brings news from someone from her past and forces her to confront a life that she believed she had long since left behind.

What a fantastic start to a series! I found Samantha immediately engaging as a character and felt sorry and scared for her as she processed the consequences of the letter she received. It almost felt like I was reading the story of someone I knew, not a close friend but a colleague at work or a neighbour, someone you say hello to in passing, and was getting more details on it – it’s that kind of empathy and connection. She was also very cleverly drawn in the sparse pen and ink panels so as to not immediately give away a secret that is pivotal to the story. The plot too was very well paced, with enough detail and time given over to build the character’s back story and describe her current situation while still having enough action in the plot to drive the story on. For me though, the single most clever bit was the explanation of the theory behind the group that she grew up with. As well as being totally leftfield (pardon the pun) with a wonderful twist on what could have been a clichéd idea, there was enough science behind it to make the theory read as completely plausible.

I would dearly love to discuss this theory, and the whole comic, more but I can’t without giving a lot of the plot of Left #1 away. So I went looking on Steven’s website to try and find sales links so you could read the story for yourself and, lo and behold, all 4 parts of Left, as well as lots of his other work, is available free in his archive. What more excuse do you need? Go get reading – I will because I need to know what lies in store for Samantha now we know she’s being followed. And I’m intrigued by Standing Stones...

Image - Steven Ingram
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