cover image Afterlift


Chip Zdarsky and Jason Loo. Dark Horse, $19.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-5067-2440-9

Dante’s Inferno meets Uber in this intoxicatingly ingenious Eisner Award winner for Best Digital Comic, collected here in a trade volume. Demon Dumu has been sent to escort Suzanna, dead of an overdose, to his master Lucifer down below, and tricks rideshare driver Janice Chen into becoming their Charon across the River Styx. Hot on their trail are demons Pythazus, Zeniakra, and Gornaux, and Janice’s only ally may be the fallen angel Twyzel of purgatory. Zdarsky (the Sex Criminals series) infuses his plot with clever moments (the clock on Janice’s phone suddenly ticks to 666) and touching scenes where Janice must confront shame from her past and her own crisis of faith following a family tragedy. Artist Loo (The Pitiful Human-Lizard series) efficiently blends the mundane with the fantastic in character designs and adds dynamism to the many car chases. Going deeper than a simple good vs. evil narrative, the tale begs questions about organized religion and faith, and lands a tricky finish with emotional fidelity. The broader themes will appeal beyond just fans of the chase adventure genre—though they’ll find plenty to cheer on here, too. It’s a weird, wild ride well worth taking. (Feb.)