Webcomic Wednesday: After Yesterday

Review by Seán Donnelly

Created by Jaime Lalor

With its diverse pool of characters, strong panel layout and interesting composition, Jaime Lalor’s webcomic After Yesterday blends music and romance to create a unique experience that echoes the better aspects of both genres. The story begins simple enough, with the band Morrigan losing one member as it gains a new one, Margo. Events are told from Margo’s perspective, her quiet personality being very much at odds with the unusual situation that she has been thrust into. Complicating matters further is the fact that professional bassist Albe Burk has been asked by Morrigan to fill in for their former bassist Andy. Coincidentally, Margo happens to be quite infatuated with the musician, if her bedroom walls are any indication.

Indeed, it’s moments like that where the comic’s writing and art dovetail and create a heightened sense of characterisation that you simply wouldn’t find in any other medium. Character interactions feel natural, and are peppered with colloquialisms that add life to the dialogue without it ever becoming a distraction. This breezy tone is reflected in the comic’s art and composition, which lets it devote time to crowd scenes without becoming too cluttered and give quieter moments the breathing space that they deserve; the scenes involving Margo in her bedroom are among the most powerful because of this.

The use of composition and colour helps especially in lending scenes the impact that they deserve; to go back to those bedroom scenes, their monochrome style and use of empty space help to highlight Margo’s isolation and ennui. Lalor’s savvy use of artistic mechanics it results in the creation of a unique, layered work that manages to hold a universal appeal despite its niche subject matter. There is something here for everyone to enjoy, and as the work continues over the coming year it will be interesting to see where it goes.