David Lapham has taken us on a bewildering journey over the last few episodes, but suddenly, and jarringly, we are back to something that is almost normal by the eccentric and almost halluciogenic qualities of this title. Dealing pretty much exclusively with the fate of Cee Cee, it plots her empty and tragic life, filled with grisly (yet touching) memento mori, the grief of loss and how sex becomes a way of numbing the pain and a weapon to use against men. The title of this issue, ‘Get Happy’ is taken from the Elvis Costello & The Attractions album from 1980. It is ironic, as the more Cee Cee tries to ‘get happy’ by seeking solace in men, the more miserable and self destructive she gets.
The problem for me is, as much as I want to like this title, and sometimes I do, I just find the narrative too disparate. How have we got to this part of the story? I am aware of all the characters, but I only really know their names. I dont know what if anything motivates them, and then we get to this issue, and we find out that Cee Cee got rejected when she was pregnant, had a miscarriage and went off the rails in a big way. I dont get it though. I dont understand why we find this out now, when it bears no real connection to issue 9, 8 or 7. Are we back to flashbacks and retrospective storytelling?
As a standalone issue it is fine. I dont know how sensitively the miscarriage and its aftermath are handled (a gratuitous amount of blood is depicted). I dont get it. I am lost as far as trying to orientate myself with the plot of Young Liars.
Verdict – its more confusing when its trying to tell a linear story about one of the cast of characters. It is not working for me anymore – none of it adds up. The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. This issue can be best summed up with the lyrics from one of Elvis Costello’s peers, The Specials – it doesn’t make it alright.