In a dystopian world inhabited by rival gangs of teenage “families,” the fight to protect one of their own is only the beginning.
In What’s the Furthest Place from Here?, the Academy live as a found family, waging war and peace according to strict rules against other family gangs such as the Boys in Blue and Big Business. Each family has the thing that binds them—The Academy serve their chosen gods of vinyl records while others forge unity in dress or purpose. There are no adults. There is no civilization. And over all reign the strangers, seemingly paranormal figures about whom little is known, but who shape the fates of the young people who remain.
The lives of the Academy are soon thrown into upheaval by the return of one of their own, a now-adult they believed dead who returns with a rambling message about a mythic city somewhere beyond the harsh streets of the families’ current realities. This return kicks off a series of events—violent conflicts with neighboring families and the disappearance of Sid, one of the newer Academy members. What begins as a quest to find Sid and protect their tenuous lifestyle quickly thrusts the Academy out into a world of secrets, betrayals, and stranger mysteries than perhaps they are prepared to face. The family take care of their own, but against nightmares, a dead world, and an increasing number of enemies, how much can a few teenagers hope to achieve?
Tyler Boss and Matthew Rosenberg, the creative team behind 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, reunite to deliver the opening chapters of the post-apocalyptic coming-of-age saga, What’s the Furthest Place from Here? Though this comic begins with some familiar world building—rival gangs and stories of a distant safe place that sound too good to be true—the world and story soon grow in unexpected ways. The teens that inhabit these pages have aged before their time, forging hierarchies and methods of survival that are often violent and brutal. At the same time, it is always clear that they remain kids. As they bicker and banter, make poor decisions, find friendship and romance in unexpected places, this series is as much about the pains of growing up in a strange world as it is about survival. With distinct and flawed characters and a bizarre world that poses challenges more freely than it provides answers, What’s the Furthest Place from Here? begins on intriguing ground and only draws the reader deeper as the stakes rise and the world reveals itself a stranger and more dangerous place than anyone expected to find.
With heavy line work and matte color palates that deliver bold visuals, the art in this comic crafts each portion of the story in engaging ways. Across frequent, dramatic chapter breaks titling each new stage of the narrative, the artwork captures the high tensions and daily rhythms of life, the distinctive quirks of the characters, and the increasingly unsettling world they must face. From the ruins of a bustling city to a supermarket, a retirement home, and ultimately to a carnival of nightmares—every part of this world has been touched—by time, by the Families, or by the Strangers. In the hands of these storytellers, the adventure is only just beginning.
Image gives What’s the Furthest Place from Here? a Teen+ rating and this accurately reflects the older teen and adult audience the title is best suited for. With strong language, violence, and some horror elements, the comic is often wryly humorous but never looses its gritty bite. A strong comic from an effective creative team, this title could especially do well with readers who favor teenage stories with a dystopian edge as well readers of post-apocalyptic adventures. Fans of comics such as Paper Girls and The Walking Dead or noir such as Ed Brubaker’s Friday will likely find something to enjoy here. This first volume has already delivered a substantial story, and it promises a great deal more to come.
Happy endings not guaranteed for all.
What’s the Furthest Place from Here, Vol. 1
By Matthew Rosenberg
Art by Tyler Boss
Publisher Age Rating: T+
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18)