In the lead-up to Young Liars ending on September 2 with issue 18, I will be rereading the 17 issues already out and discussing them at a rate of one issue per day. I haven’t reread any of these comics since they came out, so it should be fun. Spoilers, of course. Let’s dance!
Young Liars #10, “Get Happy!” by David Lapham is one of five comics and two Young Liars issues that I’ve ever given five stars to on CBR. This issue focuses on CeeCee and is… well, one of the strongest issues of the series. I will admit that the self-contained issues have the advantage in being able to provide a complete story, but Lapham really did a fantastic job on this issue as I said back in December:
Ever wanted to read a comic book about a young woman who keeps the tiny arm of her miscarried fetus in a small box in her purse? Has David Lapham got good news for you with this “flashback” issue of Young Liars! Yes, yes, yes, Lapham has once again zagged when you expected him to zig and delivers a wonderfully depressing and messed up story about the gang, particularly Cee Cee, back in spring/summer of 2007. To make things even better, he titled this issue “Get Happy!”
This issue is bookended by narration by Danny, who continually reveals new depths of selfishness and ends the issue with the words “You never know with us liars.” That Lapham ends this issue with words suggesting that everything we read is unreliable demonstrates a crazy sort of confidence in his reader. It’s clear that he’s creating a challenging book that requires thought and intelligence to follow along and make sense of it — and to put up such unreliability.
Each piece of plot seems carefully considered and places to reflect or contribute to the story taking place in the present. That the issue begins with Cee Cee pregnant will no doubt cause some to think it’s taking place in the present, but it isn’t, so the question becomes “What is Lapham trying to tell us about Cee Cee’s current pregnancy here?”
His art also evolves and grows with each issue. The emotions found on characters’ faces are always just as revealing as the words they speak, often more so. To match the quick pace of the writing, he draws a lot of stuff on each page, but does so with great skill, characters looking realistic one panel and appalling caricatures the next. If the words can lie, why can’t the art?
The concentration on CeeCee here is important as she is the third-most important character in the series after Sadie and Danny — and, here, we also see the idea of these events being cyclical played up. CeeCee gets pregant, loses the child, and sleeps with Danny. Almost like what’s going on right now but in reverse… (aside from the miscarriage). Danny and CeeCee have betrayed Sadie in the past and do so again — were they meant to be together? After all, Sadie casts them as her adoptive Earth parents in her Spiders from Mars delusion.
CeeCee is shown here, with Danny, as a corrupting force on Sadie. Each pulls her in their own direction, neither caring what she wants. Danny wants to make Saide successful so he can fuck her. CeeCee wants Sadie to be as fucked up as she is so she isn’t alone.
What’s weird about an issue like this is that I haven’t got a whole lot to say about it. It’s so focused on drawing out CeeCee’s character that there isn’t as much to discuss within the context of the series. I love the image of the tiny foetal hand that she saves. I love the Dan Clowes influence on the art, particularly CeeCee’s college professor. I love CeeCee’s dead stare. I love how well Lapham captures that nothing is as satisfying as watching your friends fail. I love Danny’s bookend narration and how Sadie is a genuinely good person in this issue (one of the few times pre-shooting we see that). I really love this issue.
See you tomorrow.
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