Leg-Breakers And Giant Ticks In By Night #7

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Hobo Joe is attacked by a creature from the Otherworld, and Chip and his brother, Andy, barely save Joe from being made into food. Chip and Andy then work to hunt down the creature. Meanwhile, Jane and Heather go to a bar, having given up on their search for Barney. Luckily for them, Barney’s friend, Bo, recognizes them and asks how to get to the Otherworld. They agree in exchange for Barney’s whereabouts, and Bo tells them Barney is at the mercy of the crime lord Donnie Gabriel.

By Night #7 cover by Christine Larsen
By Night #7 cover by Christine Larsen

By Night #7 gives the reader some more flavor of the town, Spectrum, while advancing the plot of the Otherworld and Barney’s dubious deeds. We get to see how Chip gets along with Andy and some tidbits about their dad, and we get to see the kind of cruel man Donnie Gabriel is.

The main threat of the book as well as the means by which the two stories come together is the Otherworld creature. It sticks to the shadows for much of the book, but it steps into the spotlight towards the end. It’s surprisingly chatty.

As with most John Allison books, the real charm is the dialogue and characters, and By Night #7 delivers in that regard. Chip, Heather, Jane, Andy, and Barney are all likeable figures, and it’s that quality that primarily drives the reader onward.

By Night #7 art by Christine Larsen, Sarah Stern, and letterer Jim Campbell
By Night #7 art by Christine Larsen, Sarah Stern, and letterer Jim Campbell

Well, it’s that, and the equally charming artwork of Christine Larsen. It brings the reader to this world of strange creatures yet relatable and grounded character drama. Everyone has a style, everyone is expressive, and the world around them looks lived-in. Sarah Stern’s color work balances the strange and the grounded through a well-contrasted color palette of darker and brighter tones.

By Night #7 is absorbing mixture of slice-of-life drama and otherworldly (literally) struggles disrupting small town life. The characters are solid, the story is interesting, and the artwork is great. What more needs to be said? This one is definitely worth a recommendation. Check it out.

By Night #7 comes to us from writer John Allison, artist and cover artist Christine Larsen, color artist and variant cover artist Sarah Stern, and letterer Jim Campbell.

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