So far in Inside the Indies, we’ve reviewed Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3. And at last, we come to the end. But not actually the end. Leftovers Book Four is a new beginning, the start of a trilogy. And to be frank, you need to buy this book. Let’s dig in to why!
Leftovers Book 4
Writer & Artist: Jason Pittman
This is the story of Kaleb, a man in his late-20s or early-30s who suffers from anxiety. He’s been medicating to help cope with it for as long as he can remember. It’s in this semi-stupor that he meets Addey. We don’t see the “courtship,” but they’re together in a very serious way. In love, even. And it comes off as one of the better things that’s happened to Kaleb, at least if you ask his buddy Mike. But there’s still something lingering, something that’s holding Kaleb back: he doesn’t know if it’s him that’s in love with Addey or his medication. Since he can’t remember what life was like sans 2 pills-a-day, he contemplates ditching the pills and being himself again, whoever that is and whatever complications arise regarding his anxiety.
The leap in quality from Leftovers Book 1 to Book 4, even from Book 3 to Book 4, really, is astonishing. Leftovers, the series, has never looked better. The character designs are consistent and the level of detail boggles (Mike and Kaleb have one of those stress squeezers on their desk). The latter especially makes the world seem real and lived-in. It’s a place people live, work, and walk around in. At no point do you question the environment. Worth noting is that the only color in the book, and the first in the series, is for the superhero and supervillain that represent Kaleb’s mind on and off meds, respectively. They draw attention in the right way.
The dialogue sounds natural and realistic and the bits of humor will make you laugh out loud. The internal monologue, which makes up most of the written word, flows as you’d expect a thought process to. It’s not stream-of-consciousness but still, again, natural. Towards the end of the book, Jason does some excellent things with the placement of the dialogue boxes, that show Kaleb’s frame of mind wonderfully.
The narrative engages and will make you want Book 5 now. If you’ve been on the fence about the Leftovers series, read this book now. The improvements Jason has made since the first book nearly 10 years ago astounds. It’s like reading the work of a totally different creator. It all feels so much more sure of itself. There’s a purpose to everything you read and see and that is no small task. No question about it, this is an indie book you need to read. If the ending is any indication, Jason’s doing good work breaching that gap between “smaller” indie stories and the bombastic superhero tales of the Big 2.
Buy this book. If you can only buy one Leftovers book, make it this one. And if you’re in Virginia, head to Richmond this weekend and get Jason to sign your copy and chat with him. The man himself will be at the VA Comic Con this Saturday and Sunday in Artist’s Alley at table A23.