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Nov. 4, 2021

Lost Between Worlds by Edwin Jose De Castro Comic Review

Lost Between Worlds by Edwin Jose De Castro Comic Review

 

 

What to expect from Lost Between Worlds

You can expect this book to be a great read with positive Karmic flow, and I say that with puns intended. It’s forty pages in length with about thirty-six pages of story content. The panels are great, easy to follow, and very dynamic. Obviously, a lot of time was spent articulating the script through a strong visual presence with really great chosen angles per panel. The story is, in fact, driven through the actions and thoughts of a female protagonist, a Grim Reaper known as Gwynn. 

Don’t expect any place of interest captions, but whether that decision was made out of stratagem to increase suspense in the story and hook the reader is really up to expert debates. Personally, I read through the book in twenty-five minutes and only noticed the one time because the flow was so good, and the page turn delivery was grand. Not to lick the “taint” of the creators of this book too much, but someone did their homework. 

The only element of this book that was unique and controversial was whether or not to call this a plot-driven narrative or a character-driven one. By the end (without spoiling too much), you’ll realize things don’t add up, and there will definitely be more to this story to come, BUT it is all experienced through the actions of Gwynn. Every action or obstacle you’ll read about has her on every page. The most peculiar thing is it feels like a ONE-SHOT comic because, toward the end, all she needs to know is an answer to a question, but that answer is to-be-continued, obviously. 

What you can expect overall is to be sucked into the unique adventure in the working life of an active Grim Reaper. You can expect to learn a little mythology and the process that not all humans yet understand when crossing the veil from life into death. Like a comic book page, you’ll realize that death is just that, a magnificent transition into the next chapter of experience. We don’t get to see the after-effects, but we get to know what Grim Reapers do afterward. 

If I had to really sum it up, Lost Between Worlds is a story about a Grim Reaper named Gwynn who’s grown impatient and aggravated with the daily routine of escorting souls to the afterlife, not knowing that fate would soon lift this aggravation into a daunting turn of events that might make her regret her assault on this repetitious but necessary process.

 

3 Reasons You Should Add This Comic To Your Collection

First, death isn't always an easy concept to grasp, but you can begin to understand by reading The Odyssey. Maybe, they've taken that out of the curriculum since my educational reticulum, but it was a fabulous tale with dangers around every corner that really captured the human imagination of how man conquered death, but that isn't this, no, not at all. Lost Between Worlds plays with the idea of death, giving one solace in the simple process of how death works and where you go. Think of dying as a universal being shopping in a "Soulmart" (let's say that), and you get chosen, right? Then you get taken to the big and scary yet suspenseful "Conveyer Belt" (not really scary), but much like the River Styx. Then you're greeted by the Gatekeeper or someone who assigns your soul a path (regardless of your beliefs here). Then you're transported through that universal beings' shopping bag, OR, in this case, through the Karmic Gate. Of course, the author doesn't take you past that point yet. I feel like somewhere down the rabbit hole, Gwynn will wander off a path toward the unknown. Who knows, maybe we'll even see our Metalocalypse-like victims down the road and get a few names; that'd be nice!

Second, the dialogue here is a priceless fountain of writing youth for ambitious and aspiring writers. YES, I'm breaking the fourth wall to talk to YOU, the reader. The dialogue is something special, and Gwynn is so introspective in her conversation. I have an editor's pet peeve here, and that is the creators are using an awkward green-filled caption in place of what should be thought bubbles, but I get it; it's independent comics, do what you want. I promise you it's not enough to ring the warning bell's in mainstream media at entertainment outlets like Fansided.com or CBR to write a column on, but I'm just saying it made me scratch my color. I really didn't like how it affected the color in the panels with captions because they pulled focus away from my eye on the page turn, but it was easy to get back into the flow. We can argue whether narrative captions should be used or can be used in place of thought bubbles, but I'd rather just talk about some pretty funny lines and quippy remarks made by an observant Gwynn herself. It certainly made for an engaging read and one that'll have you Google searching the waves of algorithmic space for more. 

Finally, the third reason, because of world-building. The creators have put their own spin on the process of death, grief, and mythology and given it new legs. There are some extraordinary new items and terminology crafted to make the story fun and provide the process of reaping souls quirky, much like how the game Brutal Legend was the hidden gem of Xbox 360. My favorite character besides Gwynn (obviously) is Cu-Sith, which I can only describe as–

–So imagine if Growlithe (from Pokemon, if you're not a gamer or a nerd) were similar to Evee, also a Pokemon, but one that has as many evolutions as many different types of elemental stones that exist in the world of Pokemon. Now, let's say I took an Emerald Stone from the Wizard in Wizard of Oz(Why you ask? Because Oz is fantastic and is obviously the best place to get an emerald, duh, now keep reading.) – and let's say I waited until noon on a Sunday. Then my Growlithe evolved into a dog the size of a Great Dane, it was green, looked ferocious, and had some pointy edges… oh yeah, that's a hound you want on your front porch, so no one steals your Amazon package, that's fo sho.

I enjoyed Charon's brown-nosing loyalty to Gwynn, too, because he sounds more like a sarcastic monotone, which makes their exchange very satire, and in the comedy department, that's where I become entertained. From the dead band members hitting on Gwynn to funny comments and introspective inner monologues, these reasons all made me a new fan of Lost Between Worlds, and it's just got excellent quality and balance visually. It's got questionable lettering choices, but nothing that doesn't garner too much scrutiny because the story is just that good.

 

Panel’s Mikey, Likey.

This panel should be a given, right? If you were reading, you'd remember I said my favorite characters were Gwynn and Cu Sith. Let me get my Pokeball. Man, I wish this thing was in a Tamagotchi. What I love most about this panel is something you haven't realized, more than likely. So, let's look at this for a minute. When you think of the Grim Reaper, you're thinking about what you've grown up knowing. The scary, grim, edgy Death-collecting servant of Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, right? Well, do you see that in this panel? No, so you have a unique adaptation of what reapers could possibly be like in a real-life encounter. They could be more empathetic to human existence because they witness us at our worst often, right? Anything is possible in this sandbox of a reality we live in, and this is one example of that very inclination. A reaper who shows love and care to a creature of chaos is enough to melt the butter onto your toast. It's a beautiful thing to see monikers like this being explored through the eyes of a positive perspective, one you should all be grateful to have witnessed for yourself. 

I chose this panel for a few reasons. Not only do I find complex art effects fascinating, but it also illustrates what Gwynn, as a reaper, can do. You can see she can hove, fly, or leap long distances, and there is the ability to take life (shocker, right?) What makes this a character-driven story is illustrated here in this panel. You see enough of how she reaps souls, using a pretty interesting dagger that leaks a liquid that causes instant Death (small spoiler). You get to see Gwynn observe humans, interact with acquaintances she has access to, and you get to meet her Dad El, right? Edwin doesn't get further than that. While that might sound negative, let me tell you that is all a fan rant because I want more, and you're going to want more too, I promise. That being said, I thought it was somewhat curious that an otherworldly figure would need to portal into a glass surface which says a lot about the atomic make-up of her existence. I wonder if we'll get that far in her story to understand why that is or if reapers in Edwins world have some sort of limitation that we aren't aware of yet? 

This panel right here is a vague spoiler, but in reverse to give YOU, the reader, "a-looking-forward-to" because the story gets turned upside down here. This is the panel that makes it difficult to say whether or not this comic is a ONE-OFF or part of a series. We know by the cryptic message you'll see at the end of the book that it continues, but it indeed is everything a story needs in a nutshell. Now, the pros out there might agree this is, in FACT, a continuation, and they could be right. All I'm saying is the challenge here is the unique structure being used launching from this panel. It makes you think, but it's a set-up (no, not A TRAP, damn nerds). But this is a set-up, kick-off, climax, and a HUGE cliffhanger to what might and will happen next. I'm very fond of this intriguing transition so enjoy that Greg Harmon, mind burst.

A Word From The Creator Of Lost Between Worlds

First off, GREAT story, GREAT dialogue, and an excellent FIRST issue, which I can assume is a prelude for what's coming next. My question is, what was the inspiration for the "band" being the first victims? I understand they were to set up the naming of a particular item I won't give away here. Is this visual cast of victims an experience projected from your own life onto the pages?

I'm glad you enjoyed it! The inspiration for the band being the first victims was not only for naming the item, as you mentioned but also for setting up Gwynn's love of music. She likes to watch humans from afar mostly and observe their habits and watch them grow. Music is by far the most significant creation humans have ever made if you were to ask her, haha.

Their visual inspiration is purely me loving a game called guitar hero/Rock band, and I love to find Easter eggs in things and throw them in my own work, so they're supposed to be a bit inspired by the stand-in band members from the old guitar hero games.

Thought it also fit in nicely with the whole cover band schtick.

 

Why this theme? Why the journey of the dead? Is it just a background to help set up the story, or is this a genre you love to write about? If so, then tell us how this connects to you?

The theme was chosen because of what inspired the story and because I lost my father when I was 12, turning 13. I'm not saying it's affected me to the point where I'm emotionally scarred or anything like that, but I guess Death has always been on the back of my mind and an exciting subject for me, especially after watching the anime Death Note, which was the inspiration for at least half.

I don't know if you have seen it, but there's a particular scene where the main character asks the owner of the book that can kill whoever's name you write in it, what is their purpose in life because they have lived for so long and he seems to just sit around all day, the owner just replies I don't know. We have lived so long I guess we forgot what our purpose was and have gotten lazy.

That always struck me and made me think about what their past could have been. It had to have been your traditional Grim Reapers, essentially, right? Since they have the power to see a person's lifespan and when they're fated to die.

The other half just came from me wanting to add another layer to the story: the psychological part of it with the Dospe character. I love movies like Split, Fight club, and the like, so I wanted to add that in also. I would say the Death theme isn't just background because it will be a constant theme.

I think I might have answered how it connects to me already, but I just love the theme of Death and how it can be explored.

 

Is Barzakh the inspiration of a researched fact or myth, or is it a place of your own inception? Does that reality exist in what we know as 'Hell', or is it someplace embedded in another pocket dimension similar to Purgatory, only for reapers?

Barzakh is definitely the inspiration of a researched fact! It's from Islamic culture, meaning "a barrier between the living and the dead."

It can also be used as a phrase in much the same way.

Knowing that I chose Barzakh as Gwynn's home, it's a pocket realm as you put it between the world of the living and the world of the dead, being Nirvana (heaven) and Mictlan (hell).

To answer your last question, think of Barzakh as the home for reapers, but they can't access each other's parts of it, only their own.

 

Lost Between Worlds Social Media Follow, Like, & Subscribe

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Listen to a really cool Lost Between Worlds Playlist hosted on Spotify 

Dospe/Verda Playlist hosted on Spotify

 

See other interviews with Edwin Jose De Castro

JRAILS247

Q&A with Edwin De Castro