ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Me You Love in the Dark,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Me You Love in the Dark #1

The Me You Love in the Dark #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Skottie Young, art by Jorge Corona, colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu,  letters by Nate Piekos. Ro Meadows is an artist trying to find herself. Her inspiration. Her muse even. Since city life failed to provide her with the artistic epiphany she seeks, she has decided to move to the midwest to find it. Now if only it would show itself.

When I saw that Young, Corona, Beaulieu, and Piekos (the creative team behind the phenomenal Eisner nominated series Middlewest) were getting back together for The Me You Love in the Dark, I knew I needed to check it out. While it’s always dangerous to let prior experiences set expectations that might be a bit too high, I gotta admit, The Me You Love in the Dark #1 has me hopeful for a repeat from this powerhouse team.

The focal point of this first issue is Ro and her creative struggles. As both a writer and an artist, I completely felt for Ro and her severe case of art paralysis. Young portrays Ro’s battle to create again with enough force to give it impact while never going overboard with it. As she struggles with her dilemma, the only one she shares it with is her supposedly haunted house. As her block fails to give way to an artistic masterpiece, Ro sinks further into her frustration, and anger eventually sets in. Not only is she failing her own expectations of herself, but there are others back in the city who are waiting for her next great creation. Not that the added pressure is calculated to make it any easier on her.

Bringing life to Ro’s struggle is a strong performance by artist Corona. Just as with their previous collaboration, Corona’s lines pair wonderfully with Young’s story. The measured emotions of Ro early on and her slip into deeper frustration and anger at her inability to create art (as if it’s ever that simple) are captured through Corona’s considerable talents. The artist’s grasp of what angle to show a moment from and how close or far to place a shot always conveys exactly what the moment is trying to relay to the reader.

The art in The Me You Love in the Dark #1 is brought to even greater heights by Beaulieu’s colors. While the entire presentation here is great, Beaulieu’s colors stand out as they do something exceptional that is hard to describe. Scenes bathed in warm and cool colors alternate for most of the book, creating a nice rhythm to the story’s look. Until a critical scene at the end where the colors find themselves landing in a more muted, neutral tone. This sudden change makes the scene stand out visually in a way that I wouldn’t think would work yet does.

Wrapping up the presentation here is a solid performance on letters by Piekos. Piekos takes full advantage of the dialogue-light story to ensure the bubble placement stays completely clear of the art, further allowing the story to establish its look and setting.

Taking it all in together, The Me You Love in the Dark #1 delivers a great start to this new narrative. All the pieces feel like they are in place, and all that’s left is to see if this creative team can make lightning strike twice.

The Me You Love in the Dark #1 is available August 4, 2021 wherever comics are sold.

The Me You Love in the Dark #1
4.5

TL;DR

The Me You Love in the Dark #1 delivers a great start to this new narrative. All the pieces feel like they are in place, and all that’s left is to see if this creative team can make lightning strike twice.