By: Kaitlyn McAllister
Lions, and tigers, and bears? Not quite. Image Comics has just released the debut issue of No Place Like Home, a new spin on the classic tale of Oz. Written by Angelo Tirotto and illustrated by Richard Jordan, No Place Like Home replaces the gingham dresses and rural simplicity with short skirts, piercings, and impending chaos. Not to mention a badass best friend! Read on for the skinny…
No Place Like Home begins with an opening scene that could not be more appropriate: a severe, menacing tornado. When not everybody survives the disaster, “Dee” is forced to come back home to say her last goodbyes. Dee is definitely not the innocent, pigtailed “Dorothy” of The Wizard of Oz; she is a rebellious twenty-something, complete with leather jacket, nose stud, and cigarette. Here, we are also introduced to her best friend, Elizabeth, or “Lizzie.” After a sinister warning from the town drunkard, Lizzie and Dee must uncover their elders’ secrets, and prepare for the adventure that inevitably lies ahead.
I absolutely have to mention how uncanny the similarities are between Lizzie and, well, me. Lizzie has black hair, and one side of her head is shaved; my hairstyle is the same. Lizzie has a nose stud, as do I. I drive an old red car, and Lizzie drives an old red truck. I cuss like a f*cking sailor, as does Lizzie; I also flip the bird at people that get too “up in my business.” We also both grew up in small farm towns. What really got me was when Lizzie said “shee-it”. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill “shit.” I probably say “shee-it” on a daily basis. Regardless of whether or not Tirotto and/or Jordan are stalking me, I am honored to relate myself to such a dynamic, genuine character. Lizzie is direct, to-the-point, no-nonsense. She’s blunt, but caring. Tough, but protective. And she definitely establishes herself as an integral piece of the cast from the get-go. But enough about me and Lizzie.
So far, No Place Like Home has all of the elements of a classic. There’s a vibrant cast of characters, a rural setting, suspense, mystery, a decent amount of gore, and even a prophetic drunkard to ice the cake. Richard Jordan’s art, paired with Paul Little’s more neutrally based color palette, the prairies and farmlands of Kansas are captured perfectly. The tornado scene especially has some awesome green tones. The characters are attractive and full of life; their faces are classically drawn, with thicker lines reminiscent of a “pop art” style. Also, there are visual and verbal references to The Wizard of Oz throughout the issue. It’s pretty fun to see if you can catch them all.
In the back of the issue, Tirotto introduces the “mail” section, where he says, “I couldn’t be prouder. I really hope you enjoy every page.” In short, I do. This first issue was a great introduction to the cast of characters, the twisted version of Kansas, and left an intriguing mystery that will keep me drooling for more. A great start to what looks like another stellar horror series from Image.