Mind the Gap, Some Stories Make Better TV Shows

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap is about a young woman, Elle Peterssen who was attacked at a subway station and now she finds herself disembodied and wandering around the spirit-world of the hospital where her potentially body resides.  There are a couple levels of dramatic action here.  Peterssen not only has to come to grips with finding herself near-dead and in a new world with its own rules but has lost her memory, most importantly the memory of who her attacker is.  Also, in the embodied world, Peterssen’s friends and family console each other and argue about the terrible situation they find themselves in.  There’s a lot going on here and I worry that it might be too much for the comic book medium.

Mind the Gap tries to tell an ambitious amount of story in a comic book.  The comic book medium is set up for success in terms of the potential to tell any story or even function strictly on a high (A)rt level.  The medium has visuals that can show characterization and two dimensional beauty but it also has text to allow for dialogue, exposition and any other wonder than can come from the written word.  There should be no story that cannot be told through comic books.  However, McCann and Mind the Gap may have found a story that might very well be too complex for the limited time and physical space of comic books.

Mind the Gap lives in two different worlds, one that is new to the reader and needs to be defined as well as nearly a dozen characters that all need their accounting.  There are supernatural aspects as well as a murder mystery that unravels as the book progresses.  McCann has taken on a lot of details to be managed in a medium that is limited by visual and temporal space – the turn of a page is a moment of transition.  While McCann does a great job of not breaking the natural rules that come with the medium, the book becomes cluttered and at times lacks any real propulsion of story.  While it might have been more successful as a TV show where acting can drive necessarily dull or even just flat moments of detail and character definition, Mind the Gap becomes thick and plodding as a comic book.

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