REVIEW: ‘Afterlift’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Afterlift

Afterlift is published by ComiXology, written by Chip Zdarsky, art by Jason Loo, colors by Paris Alleyne, and letters by Aditya Bidikar. Janice Chen’s night started like any other: picking up fares; visiting the folks. All the usual things until a new passenger ends up hiring her for a trip clear out of this world and into the next. For poor Janice, it’s gonna be one Hell of a ride.

Afterlift’s story covers a lot of ground, both literally and figuratively. While our protagonist is beset by demons and racing through various regions of the world beyond our own, she and her fares cover a lot of metaphorical ground as well. This exploration of themselves is the strongest aspect of Zdarsky’s story. The human moments as characters face their pasts and their failings really land well. Unfortunately, the rest of the story doesn’t hold up to the same degree. While it’s a solidly constructed tale overall, it never really grabbed me. As one location is swapped for another, the story felt rushed. Even the big character moments, while I enjoyed them, felt like they could’ve landed even better if the story had slowed down a little.

Along with the story itself, Afterlift also does a bit of light diving into the philosophical. As one would expect of a story that traverses the many planes of the afterlife, questions of religion and truth are given their time. While Zdarsky never dives too deeply into such matters, I do appreciate his approach. His take on self-image, how we perceive our self-worth, and how that perception impacts us is excellently delivered.

Afterlift

As with the overall story of Afterlift, I found the art to be a solid, if not exceptional, performance. Loo captures the story with clear images that are well designed and laid out. Character’s and their emotions are given the necessary weight one would expect on each panel. This competent delivery extends to the various action sequences as well. Whether it’s a multi-person melee, or a high-speed car chase, feeling lost amongst the panels of this book is never a problem.

The colorwork provided by Alleyne in Afterlift compliments the art well. Even as the story moves to the more fantastic, Alleyne provides color schemes that always feel natural. Each stop along this ethereal journey gets its own palette. In doing so, each location gives its own unique vibe to the story, which is fitting given the places it goes.

Bidikar’ s lettering is the final element that brings this story together. With a few font changes and some implementation of bolding some words, Bidikar manages to give the text a noticeable amount of flavor without sacrificing clarity in their work.

To sum it all up, Afterlift provides an enjoyable tale that delivers particularly well on a few moments. While much of the story goes into the realm of forgettable to me, it happily never went so far as to be regrettable. All the elements of this story come together to create a perfectly competent example of comic book storytelling.

Afterlift is available now on ComiXology.

Afterlift
3.5

TL;DR

To sum it all up, Afterlift provides an enjoyable tale that delivers particularly well on a few moments. While much of the story goes into the realm of forgettable to me, it happily never went so far as to be regrettable. All the elements of this story come together to create a perfectly competent example of comic book storytelling.