REVIEW: ‘The Long Con,’ Issue #8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Long Con #8 is published by Oni Press, written by Dylan Meconis and Ben Coleman, illustrated by Ea Dench, colored by Fred C. Stresing, and lettered by Aditya Bidikar. In this issue, Destiny and Felix find themselves brought before the Quantum tribunal, and if found guilty, will face punishment by The Grand Gatekeeper, all while the comic continues its cross examination of geek culture, its passion, and its follies.

With this issue’s focus on a trail, which leads into a deep dive into the fictitious Skylarks continuity, a reader could be left a bit in the weeds. Though, if you have been reading along since issue one, this sort of deep dive will feel like old hat by now. The level of depth and detail the creative team has gone to in fleshing out the fictional science fiction universe, and the fans who worship it. The building of it is both impressive, and necessary, to accurately look at issues that are clearly the inspiration for the events of this book, like gatekeeping in fandom.

Concepts of gatekeeping and judgement of dissenting opinions are front and center in this issue, and even though the circumstances and situation are taken to the level of absurdity, the book continues to ring uncomfortably close to home. With internet mobs willing to verbally abuse, and torment others, over things as irrelevant as releasing a special edition of a movie, or who is the quintessential example of a character, I can’t quite shake the feeling that is how some of us in the geek community would behave.

Meconis and Coleman continue to write a script that masterfully balance the absurd and the upsetting. Managing to never let the absurd distract too much from the point of the story, while never allowing the upsetting statement at the story’s core to bring down the reader’s ability to enjoy the work before them. It simply is satire in its best, most relevant form.

The wonderful balancing goes for the characters themselves, as well as the story. Destiny continues to shine as the strong, won’t take bull from any fan boy tough lady on moment, then turning to a puddle of fan herself one an idol appears. Smart and strong, this issue is 100% hers, and I am all for it.

Dench’s illustrations, along with Sresing’s colors, further support this approach as the characters are an excellent visual balance of grounded, yet with a bit of exaggeration. Combined with a willingness to change-up styles for a panel or two, on each particular anime influenced panel comes to mind, and the art is able to keep pace with the fluctuating nature of series, and absurd, the writing balances so well.

This comic continues to be both a thoroughly enjoyable read, as well as an important look at what is the geek culture many of us have come to love/hate. I have an ever-growing appreciation for what the creative team continues to craft within these pages, and can only hope that the continuing adventures within The Long Con prove to be as entertaining, and relevant, as what has come before.

The Long Con #8
4.5

TL;DR

This comic continues to be both a thoroughly enjoyable read, as well as an important look at what is the geek culture many of us have come to love/hate.