BACK, by KC Green and Anthony Clark, is a webcomic that ran from 2014 to 2021, and has two released volumes, with the third final volume successfully crowdfunded in March 2022. The webcomic features a slew of colourful characters and follows Abigail, a cowgirl, and Daniel, a druid, on Abigail’s quest to end the world. The series is available to read here: https://www.backcomic.com/1
The comic thrives on wacky humour, both in clever writing and visual gags. And as the story goes on, there are poignant moments that add depth to the humour. There is more going on than a simple quest for the apocalypse, and that is where the narrative questions really start digging their hooks into the reader. And the comic tackles a narrative challenge — how to leave some question up to the reader while still providing a satisfying conclusion?
When I first started to read comics and other stories, it would bother me whenever a tale left some narrative questions vague or outright unanswered. “But wait!” I would cry, “What about this unresolved plot point? How can I be satisfied if I don’t know everything about everything?” BACK is a recent comic that really showed me how much my perception of a ‘good ending’ had changed. I relished in the parts that were left up to my interpretation. In fact, I found myself seeking out other people who had read the comic to discuss the story and hear what their thoughts were.
In an age of media criticism that focuses on what the ‘real’ meanings behind narrative metaphors are, it’s nice to experience a story that makes you laugh, tear up, and go, “WOW OKAY”, all while leaving you with a few delicious story threads to chew on afterward.