rating: 4 of 5 stars
Finder is an immensely ambitious, occasionally frustrating but mostly thoroughly entertaining read. Carla Speed McNeil has crafted a pretty immense world here, and it's clear from reading the comic pages and the annotations that there's so much more than she's able to get into the book.
That's good in that the world feels fully realized, and bad in that, as others have noted, the story sometimes feels maddeningly vague or incomplete. Without the annotations at the back, some of the story cues in the comic (like when it's a flashback or a dream, or even what a particular character is doing) are unclear or even downright impossible to figure out.
However, even without knowing fully what's going on, there are a lot of neat sci-fi ideas and some amazingly fleshed-out characters. McNeil does fall into the "tell, not show" problem with the characters from time to time, but even without her notes, you can pick up on a lot of inner conflict and flaws in the various characters. These characters feel more real than most fiction can manage, and that goes a long way in terms of making this a favorite.
In addition, McNeil's artwork is beautiful, reminiscent of Terry Moore in its adoration (but not objectification) of the human form, male or female and her mastery of expression, whether it's subtle facial expression or more broad physical movement. And while her panel structure is generally straightforward, she's not afraid to break the pattern in order to show off a chaotic moment, an expansive backdrop or a character experiencing something spiritual.
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