Lou Rossi is a man in his twenties looking for a girl. That’s pretty much the entire plot synopsis, I am not kidding you. However, Dry County quickly establishes itself as a defining work of modern comics. Rich Tommaso is a new creator, who has integrated himself as someone able to turn the simplest of premises into an impressive piece of work created with no struggle.
What makes it so special? If you break down the first issue to its simplest components you will be left with exactly the same things as you started out with. What am I saying? It’s really hard to simplify anything about issue 1 than what’s already found on the page. There are no establishing shots, no overwhelming amount of hurled exposition chucked at the reader. Nothing the characters go through is traumatizing in fact, it’s all first world problems which ideally lack any grasping elements to use for a good comic. Yet I am invested. How?
For one, Tommaso understands the medium of comics. He doesn’t leave any cheap loose threads open for interpretation for the reader to wait until the next issue to answer. The writer knows every issue should provide a story well worth telling, each installment needs to stand on its own. Worry about how it connects with the overall arc later.
Secondly, the way I am able to read the issue so quickly, without pause, is credited to the pacing which has a lot to do with what I was saying in my first point. Afterward, an issue resembles what the greatest modern comics like Vision or Saga manage to do: focus on a single theme. Each issue should have a mini-story arc of its own with pay-offs and climaxes unnoticed at first glance by an average recipient. On top of it all, Lou Rossi is an extremely likable main lead who blends well with the art style. Art doesn’t have to be realistic, it must fit well with the tone and the subject matter it’s trying to convey.
Dry County is a new series coming out of Rich Tommaso’s imagination which continues to establish him as a master at understanding the medium. The characters, themes, pace, tone, and most importantly the self-contained value, will only mean good things for its future. The bar has been set, may it continue to progress.
(Review by Toadster)