THE LAST SCARECROW
Cartoonist: Aaron Losty
Letters & Design: Becca Carey
WHAT IS IT?
Two gangs: The Stabs and The New Saints are on the cusp of war as General Izzo takes The Stabs deep into a jungle graveyard to train in the heat.
The Last Scarecrow breaks all expectations you go in with, so to compare it to other stories is a hard one, as it is unique in its own way. But, one could mention The Twilight Zone.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Two gangs at the beginning of a war sounds simple enough, right? Well, hate to break it to you, but that's where you are absolutely wrong. The Last Scarecrow is anything but simple. As the story actually relies on the reader not knowing much going in, we'll be coy and avoid spoilers as much as possible.
Taking his gang, The Stabs, deep into a jungle graveyard, General Izzo begins training them for their oncoming battle against The New Saints. Throughout the story, Losty keeps the history vague while adding only the smallest amount of information necessary to make your mind wander while keeping you invested.
In its opening page, The Last Scarecrow showcases how great the General is at rallying his troops for the war that's soon to come. Later, these same troops talk about their leader in high regard, mentioning that he may be superhuman. He never sleeps. He doesn't eat or drink. Some think of him as a deity. But, by the end, will they see him for what he truly is?
The Last Scarecrow is a slow-burning descent into madness that asks many questions while answering only a few, leaving it up to the reader to dissect what has really transpired.
But why did the gang members join in the first place? And why are they fighting?
Let's start with the cover, as that's the first thing you see. Aside from the logo, the first part that pops is the colorwork, courtesy of Carey. These few "simple" colors work perfectly together, popping off the cover, screaming at you to read it.
The logo, by Losty, is huge, front and center but not overpowering, with the words drifting down toward the General helping guide the reader through the cover. Which transitions to the next element over the cover: the art.
Like the interior pages, Losty draws the art. With the General covering the middle of the cover, the title above moves you from left to right. But once it catches The General's head, your eyes change course. This is due to the head looking the other way, changing the reader's eyes now to right to left, helping showcase the complete cover in a clever, zigzagging way that organically forces you to take in its entirety.
Everything about the cover is magnificent, especially the way it elegantly moves the reader's eyes around the image. This is due to Losty's fantastic art and the amazing cover design that Carey applies.
Once you open The Last Scarecrow, Carey sets the location with a simple, yet efficient location page before you're bombarded with raw, gritty art.
Losty's art is very much his own style: raw, gritty, heavily inked, and very human. It's hard to place an influence on his style, but it's akin to Tom Scioli mixed in with a Ralph Bakshi '70s film that got adapted into a Heavy Metal comic.
The pencils throughout are fantastic, as are the colors. Losty employs bright colors when the scene needs it, or brings it down to a dark level, sometimes so dark that only one shining color rings through.
By mixing heavy inks and bright colors, Losty creates a visual blend that combines immensely well, helping key elements stand out.
The page count may only be 24 pages, but damn does the story get you thinking!
Losty's writing is phenomenal. Going in, you'll be thinking one thing, but Losty consistently makes you reevaluate your interpretation of the story and its events.
The plot of two gangs going into war gives you the belief that there will be violence. Instead, Losty's writing shows the slow descent of a character's arc that will make you second-guess everything you read.
The characters portrayed are shown in a very human light, while written extremely well with some even having their own accents.
Carey's lettering continues to showcase how in sync the duo are.
The bubbles shown on the pages never conflict with the background colors. This is due to Casey not keeping to the standard white-colored bubbles, which would've clashed with the art and colors.
When characters yell, Casey shows this emotion with bold words. In one case of high emotion she forgoes the bubble with STOP being huge and disrupting, adding to the weight of the moment.
Memorable Quote: "Blood in, blood out, right? I pledged my right hand. Why don't you come and take it?" – Tammo
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
Mature Content: It may say on the back cover it has mature content, but it's nice to give another warning. The Last Scarecrow never goes "too far"; it just has its fair share of language and some smoking.
A lot of my positives could work as negatives for some, as The Last Scarecrow isn't for everyone. But, for those that enjoy thought-provoking, descent-into-madness stories, there aren't many things that "Don't Work."
Even if some readers enjoy the story being told, Losty's art is raw; he doesn't hold back. His art is beautiful in its rawness, but for some, his style may not work.
There are a few moments when the characters look the same. But, that's few and far between.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Going into The Last Scarecrow, you'll think it's going one way, but next thing you know, it takes a backward left turn.
Losty and Carey tell a great, thought-provoking story in only 24 pages that'll demand you reread it instantly to discover all the clues dropped.
Each reader might interpret the story differently. I originally wanted to read The Last Scarecrow for the art, but once the story kicked in, I couldn't put it down. I wanted to absorb everything Losty and Carey had to say.
WHAT SHOULD I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Now or Never by Aaron Losty & Becca Carey
Fearscape by Ryan O'Sullivan & Andrea Mutti
The Edge Off by Fraser Campbell & Iain Laurie
If you like the art:
The Waves That Break by Aaron Losty
Copra by Michel Fiffe
American Barbarian by Tom Scioli
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Aaron Losty – Writer, Illustrator, Colorist, & Logo Designer
Multitalented: The list of jobs above should explain this one easily!
Outlander: Based in Ireland
Dream Team: Losty & Carey have worked together multiple times
Becca Carey – Letters & Design
Has some gorgeous Cover Design work on her website!
Multitalented: Lettered The Last Scarecrow and does (amazing) cover designs
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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