Writer & Artist: Justin Randall
The Book: Changing Ways is easily one of the most unique and messed up books I have read for quite some time (Paul Bedford’s The List also goes in that category). Going into the book for the first time, I really had no idea what I was in for, I had heard very good things from my friend Luke who recommended it to me. I was really taken with the cover art and by flicking through I noticed the artwork inside was phenomenal.
So with that I sat down and read the book, and then I read it again. Wow just wow, that was my reaction. I have no idea what goes on inside the mind of Justin Randall, but whatever it is, it makes for a compelling and engaging ride.
Things here feel dark, and for retired corrections officer David they are. He is haunted by the death of his son, and his family have moved to start over. But this isn’t the new life they were hoping for, things aren’t improving and David’s life wont let go of that darkness. With strange events happening, weird lesions appearing all over the place and causing odd behaviour to each they affect (or infect), what exactly is happening? The ways are changing …
Yes I have remained vague because this is a book you need to experience without too much knowledge prior to jumping in. The book does hit a lot of themes, and family is one of those strong themes. There is also an interesting approach to fear of the unknown, and Justin really let his own imagination run loose here. His art as well as his words light up every page, and despite some images being disturbing, they are incredibly beautiful. This is an experience, the atmosphere the book presents really mirrors the kind of emotions it wants to get from the reader. The colour palette is very interesting, and I think it fits perfectly with the story.
This is a story that flows extremely well, and it remains mysterious but not in a way that it is frustrating, its quite engaging and thought provoking. Props to Gestalt the publisher who have gotten this book printed up in a very beautiful way. The cover is exquisite, it is smooth and vibrant, and the pages are glossy and very sturdy. Changing Ways really is one of the most beautiful graphic novels I have had the pleasure of owning, the attention to detail is jaw dropping.
Changing Ways book 1 is something I would highly recommend, since the day I first read it, to my subsequent re-reads, this book has remained in the back of my mind and it has stuck with me. It isn’t all that often that a graphic novel has affected me in such a way, and all across the board. If you want an experience you won’t soon forget, pick this up and of course support Australian creators.
You can buy Changing Ways Book 1 through Gestalt Comics – gestaltcomics.com/product/graphic-novels/changing-ways-book-1