By Andrez Bergen
“I can’t eat. Haven’t been able to stomach much over the past 48 hours. I can’t sleep. So I try to read.”
When in doubt, grab a book. Plus I’ve heard they go great with soy sauce.
Trista and Holt returns with issue #10, this time giving you two stories! Well, the same story, but just like…you’ll have to read it. Writer/artist Andrez Bergen approached this issue a bit differently than previous ones. This time around we get the same scenario (involving Trista and Holt) resulting into two different outcomes. This is a concept where Bergen’s artwork comes into play in a big way, as each storyline is met with different styles of artwork along with lettering.
In the first scenario Bergen approaches the lettering to each scene in a more personal way, using handwritten font, which results in the scenes looking as if one long love letter. This comes into effective contrast when we reach the second part of this issue, where the words look more mechanical and cold. You can tell the distancing in the language used as well, as we see in the quote above there’s feelings of worry, frustration, and caring. Later on in the second half we get the line, “God, I just want to die, crawl back into my hole, anything but face this here and now.” It’s possible there were no books available in the second half, but it’s made clear the sense of longing isn’t shared between the first and second parts of this issue.
Dialogue also plays a big part in this issue, as in the first part we remain in Holt’s head, and the second part we get Trista’s thoughts. This is another clever way Bergen distinguishes between the two different stories…are they in the same “world”, did one happen and the other not? Was one of them just a dream? Bergen plays with the reader’s head a bit here, but in doing so creates a great mystery for the hard-boiled detective in all of us to figure out (read this issue with some black coffee and maybe a glass of whiskey).
The artwork this time around utilizes the panels really well too. Again comparing the first half to the second, we get a lot of panels stacked on top of each other in the first portion, creating a feeling of equal ground between the two characters. In the second we get the panels often time uneven with each other, which creates a sense of chaos between the two characters. These differences can also reflect the way each character thinks, and that perhaps Holt is a bit more organized than Trista in the given situation, which would make sense given the circumstances (morphine does that to people).
Issue #10 of Trista and Holt raises some questions for the reader. We’re looking in on this scenario and trying to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. Is there a real connection happening here…or is it just a matter of manipulation? And if it is…who is manipulating who?