The Life After, Vol 1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov #BookReview

Title: The Life After, Vol 1 | Series: The Life After | Author: Joshua Hale Fialkov | Illustrator: Gabo | Pub. Date: 2015-1-28 | Pages: 160 | Genre: Horror & Action/Adventure | Language: English | Triggers: Late-term stillbirth | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Comixology Unlimited

The Life After, Vol 1

Jude’s life is nothing special. It seems like every day is just a repeat of the last one, until one day, he meets a woman and can suddenly see into her past — revealing that he is actually in Purgatory for suicides. Now that he’s awake, he and the legendary Ernest Hemingway are on the path to change things in the afterlife for the better. Of course, that might not sit very well with the bigwigs down below or up above. Can just a few people change the course of billions of souls? Collects the first five issues of the ongoing series.

Book cover for The Life After

The Life After, Vol 1 Review

So almost right away, I hit something that almost turned me off The Life After, Vol 1. The fact that within pages, we see a horrible stillbirth that involves the artist thinking it was necessary to draw the dead baby laying on the street. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that could have easily been inferred without being witnessed. That’s just crass.

The art itself is not high on my favorites list either in the first issue either. However, I liked the colors and the story line was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading it.  After a while, the art did start to grow on me. There were several very twisted illustrations in later issues that had me going “Eww! Eww!”

I know I’ve read some of Hemingway’s work, but I don’t remember it. I’ve also not read anything about the man, so I don’t know if how he’s portrayed in here is accurate, but… I like him. The Life After portrays him as someone practical, sarcastic, and blunt. Basically, right up my alley.

I might not have been a huge fan of the first issue, but the second one was awesome. The beginning of issue three was fantastic. I collapsed into giggles over the complete history of creation in 3 pages. This issue would piss so many people off. It makes me want to buy it just to see how many Christians I could make mad.  Issue three is the issue that actually hooked me on the series. It was… irreverent… to say the least.  This continued right up through issue four.

And then, oh, lookit, in issue five, we have to have another graphic depiction of a dead baby. Grr. Say it with me “Depictions of dead babies are not necessary.” But the story line with Esmerelda made me grin at the end. I guess, in the end, the positives with the illustrations overcome the negatives. But, still.

The story moves along nicely in The Life After, Vol 1. The characters are all interesting. The colorist did a good job. The dialogue was perfect.

Overall, I did like The Life After, Vol 1. I am not familiar with Joshua Fialkov’s work outside of this story, but one of my acquaintances seemed fond of his Marvel Work. The story line is just twisted enough that I’ve requested my local library obtain copies of the first and second volume, so hopefully I can get my hands on it.

If you don’t mind spending 15+ bucks on graphic novel collections, I’d definitely recommend purchasing it.

My favorite insult:

“Go to hell, you undead shit-heeled pig asses.”

Buy Link: Amazon



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