THERE’S NOTHING THERE #3
Questions about Reno’s ghost problem are finally starting to be answered in THERE’S NOTHING THERE #3 from Black Mask Studios. Author Patrick Kindlon continues this odd yet captivating comic series about a young celebutante who has become a focal point of the spirit world. The first two issues of this series focused on Reno as a character so the reader could begin to empathize with her but now the real meat of the story is starting to kick in. Reno’s rather aloof mother has made an appointment for her to speak with a psychic, the kind of TV con man who hustles old women out of their retirement money. This fool proof plan to get to the bottom of things falls apart when Reno is confronted by two real ghosts, and not the sort that has been following her lately. These spirits have it together enough to warn Reno about what is happening. That she has become a target for a malevolent spirit named Asbeel, the so called God of Missing Children. Now she must remain visible at all times, which should not be too hard for a young beautiful woman constantly surrounded by security and the paparazzi.
Kindlon has moved his series from an absurd take on celebrity lifestyle to a strange twist on how that same lifestyle might be what keeps Reno alive. The cameras, the security, the outfits, the overbearing stage Mom… all of it seems to come together in issue #3 as we learn that this visibility, this never ending presence in the public eye, is all that has kept our protagonist safe this entire time. Kindlon notes that Asbeel uses an avatar and we finally meet him here as he uses diversions and complacency to sneak past all the walls that surround Reno. I have really latched onto the concept of this comic. Despite her never being painted in the best light Reno herself is an endearing character that the read has quickly grown to care for especially when she is surrounded by the worst of people. The hangers on, the press, the mother. They all combine to form this dreaded shell yet it is that shell that will keep her safe. The two worlds that exist in this book are both really well done and I am enjoying the slow process of them coming together. This is the issue that really starts to answer some questions and I am eager to see how they pay off in the end.
Artist Maria Llovet presents another beautiful 22 pages of lose pencils with stylized art and colors that really fit with the tone of the series. In a world full of beautiful people there are no beautiful characters. Even Reno herself is drawn to be almost plain in her appearance and body style. It is an interesting mix to set a story in this world yet focus more on the intricacies of the lifestyle that the visual flourish it often provides. I am still enjoying THERE’S NOTHING THERE and I am glad to see it moving forward with the plot. I think Reno is a brilliantly written character that beings as some insufferable but has grown on me the more time I spend with her. Black Mask Studios continues to put out very good indie comic so if you are tire of capes and cowls or think of yourself more as an Image Comics person I would definitely suggest you give THERE’S NOTHING THERE and Black Mask Studios a closer look next time you come down to World’s Coolest Comics.