The Nice House On The Lake #1 Review: Diaphanous, Clever

The chances are very high that when you get to the last page of this book, you'll only have one word on your lips: "wow." With pitch-perfect timing, a perfect balance between characterization and plot, and a creeping sense of "oh … oh no," this could be your new nearly-post-pandemic favorite.

The Nice House On The Lake #1 Review: Diaphanous, Clever
The Nice House On The Lake #1 Cover. Credit: DC Black Label

Let's start with the degree of difficulty. This book's story hinges on twelve main characters. There is a nifty little narrative device here that gets you into each one quickly, using the last one added to the "cast" as a perspective character. That is absolutely not easy, and despite all the work that had to go into the conception and execution, the James Tyrion the Fourth script makes it look like it was an afterthought, likely driving dozens of other comic book writers into fits of jealousy, rushing to rewrite something they haven't turned in.

Then let's talk about the look of this work. TV shows like The X-Files gave many comics and movies and show that the idea they could skimp on really understanding the details by just making things hard to see. The visual team of Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Jordie Bellaire, and Andworld Design (that's always weird to type) understand the assignment of not just obscuring some things in darker shades of color or limits of line work, but they manage the suggestion of things visually, forcing your brain to fill in the gaps in ways both exciting and terrifying.

The team works together for a fantastic "pull the rug out from under them" moment, deliciously pulling you into a Kansas City Shuffle that doesn't settle for one jaw-dropper. By the time you realize what's really happening, well, to quote an emo Canadian who should sing more than rap, by the time you read that, it's too late.

This diaphanous, clever work practically levitates, so go on. Look up in the sky. Then say it. RATING: BUY.

The Nice House On The Lake #1
By James Tynion the Fourth, Alvaro Martinez Bueno
Everyone who was invited to the house knows Walter — well, they know him a little, anyway. Some met him in childhood; some met him months ago. And Walter's always been a little … off. But after the hardest year of their lives, nobody was going to turn down Walter's invitation to an astonishingly beautiful house in the woods, overlooking an enormous sylvan lake. It's beautiful, it's opulent, it's private … so a week of putting up with Walter's weird little schemes and nicknames in exchange for the vacation of a lifetime? Why not? All of them were at that moment in their lives when they could feel themselves pulling away from their other friends; wouldn't a chance to reconnect be … nice? With Something Is Killing The Children and The Department of Truth, James Tynion IV has changed the face of horror in modern comics â now get ready for his most ambitious story yet, alongside his Detective Comics partner Ãlvaro Martinez Bueno!

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About Hannibal Tabu

Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on, and more information can be found at his website, Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at
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