At the End of Your Tether is the story of a boy who goes searching for his missing ex-girlfriend only to discover that some things aren’t meant to be found. It’s Brick meets Paper Towns in this graphic novel, and I am sharing my thoughts on this upcoming release.
I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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At The End of Your Tether follows Ludo as he tries to find his ex-girlfriend, Arlo, after she has gone missing. Things don’t line up though as Ludo has a phone call with her as if all is fine, but she had already been missing for weeks. And turns out that this whole situation is much more complicated than Ludo ever expected.
I do really enjoy the art. At first, the differing styles between the cover and the actual comic through me off. But there are some really nicely done panels within the comic itself that made me enjoy it overall. It would have been cool to see the whole comic in the cover art style, but that is just subjective preference on my part.
However, I found the story very confusing. It is too short to fully understand what on Earth is happening during the big climax and explanation. I find the concept interesting, but the execution is not great because it didn’t have the time to fully develop. It moved very fast through certain pieces so when you got to the climactic reveal, it was hard to understand because there weren’t enough pieces for the reader or even Ludo to put together to have this situation make any sense.
You have time travel and parallel universes and those two concepts alone are very complex to integrate and explain in a story so it makes sense at the end. It is hard to accept the conclusion as what happens when you barely understand it.
I will say, in defense of the book, it is all of the individual comics put into a single graphic novel. So in its original format, it was released slower and probably didn’t feel as rushed. I had this same reading issue with The Avant-guards as well.
Also, Arlo’s explanation of what is going on is terrible. When you have a solution as complex as this, you need the person explaining it to make sense and do it well. I feel like she never got to any point of clarity. It makes it feel like the writer didn’t even know what the resolution really was, or at least didn’t know how to explain it.
Overall, I would have enjoyed this comic more if it took more time to really develop this whole crazy situation. The first thing I thought when I finished reading it was “what?” It could have been a really cool story but it was just too rushed.
What comics have you read recently? Share them with a comment!