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By Night, Vol. 1

(By Night #1)

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  755 ratings  ·  125 reviews
After discovering a mysterious device, Jane and Heather decide try their hand at documentary filmmaking... in another dimension! 

There’s something strange going on in Spectrum, South Dakota. 

Home to high school best friends Jane Langstaff and Heather Meadows, Spectrum is a boomtown that’s long since stopped booming, with nothing to show for its former glory but the abando
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by BOOM! Box
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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 ·  755 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Sam Quixote
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’m a huge fan of John Allison’s Giant Days - I read a lot of comics and this one is, in my mind, the best comic in the world - but strangely everything else of his I’ve read outside of that title, like Bad Machinery and his Shelley Winters one-shots, is mediocre at best. Unfortunately, Allison’s latest series, By Night, is firmly among his lesser efforts.

I don’t have any truck with the story: a couple of twentysomething friends find a portal to another dimension and venture through to make a d
Paul E. Morph
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm really enjoying this; it's closer to 'Scary-Go-Round' than 'Giant Days' and you can tell the creative team are having tons of fun. ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, best-of-2018, boom
John Allison is already my comic book hero for creating and writing Giant Days, the best and most consistent comic of the last four years. So I had high hopes for his new series, By Night — a book about two girls discovering a mysterious supernatural realm. I'm glad to say that it's pretty good! Not Giant Days good (nothing is), but Allison brings here a lot of his signature sense of humour and excellent dialogue, and I really liked all the characters.

What I wasn't completely sold on is the supe
Rod Brown
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
A little too silly for me, probably because its aimed at a younger audience. Confronted with a portal to a fantasy realm, no one in the book acts as a reasonable person would. I get that its for comedic effect, but the characters aren't interesting or funny enough for me to put up with their nonsense. That's not to say there aren't some chuckles, but they're mild and too few in number.

The British author decided to set this book in South Dakota without really having an ear for how Midwesterners t


This was fun. It was quick. I was interested in the story. I also liked the art.
While this looks like a younger leaning comic series, it's actually got older characters and a little language. It threw me a little bit.
Oh there was also a good HP Reference about Winky the Elf. It hit me.
This didn't really have an ending at all, just a big To Be Continued...
I mean, I knew I wouldn't have an ending ending, but I thought a little more of the secrets would be revealed.
I though
Much in the way that mediocre pizza is still pizza and therefore worth eating, a mediocre John Allison book is still a John Allison book and therefore worth reading.
Lost in Book Land
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hello Again,

I’m so proud of myself right now! I have gotten back on track this week, overcome a pretty rough Tuesday (which was rough because of an expected pain/illness thing), and am killing it at the reading game lately! Today we are going to talk about By Night, the first volume, so everyone pretty much knows I love Giant Days, I definitely have not kept that secret but I honestly did not realize that John Allison the author of Giant Days had other graphic novel series until a few weeks ago
Peter Derk
May 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
The first half, before the stuff happens, is weird and oddly hard to read. It's disjointed somehow. Like you're thrown into the story as it's already in progress, which people say is good, but you just want people to FEEL like that's what's happening, but really what you do is cleverly hide the exposition in between the stuffs happening. This felt like I was in the middle of stuff for real, which means I didn't really know what was going on, but also I didn't care.

Then the stuff happens, but her
Chris Lemmerman
[This review covers all three volumes of By Night]

By Night, from the mastermind behind Giant Days, John Allison, is a twelve issue maxi-series that features two friends who are trying to work out what to do with their lives when they uncover a conspiracy that spans dimensions and decades and could shake their tiny little town to its core.

I don't really know what to make of By Night, honestly. It meanders along for twelve issues after establishing its characters, finding a few tangents to go on i
Dakota Morgan
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
John Allison can write excellent dialogue, as demonstrated in the endlessly appealing Giant Days series. When it comes to writing an actual high-concept, plot-focused series like By Night, Allison retains the dialogue, but loses much of the fun. Here we have Heather and Jane, witty smart-alecks trapped in small town South Dakota. With extremely minimal backstory barely established, they trek into an abandoned corporate headquarters and find a portal to another world. Rather than react out of fea ...more
[edit 6/24/19: Ok I tried the next issue and I think I'm gonna have to drop this one. Nothing is really grabbing me.]

I love Giant Days, but for some reason this title just didn't grab me the same way. Although if I remember correctly it did take me a few volumes to warm up to Giant Days as well, so maybe Allison is just a slow series started. There are definitely some funny moments and the characters and setting have a lot of potential I think, but right now it's all much less exciting than it s
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
John Allison is one quirky author. It usually takes me a while to warm to his figure out where exactly he's going and get used to the voices of his characters. This was no exception. The beginning is a little strange as I attempted to find my footing in his story, but by the end, I was excited to read the next volume. And while I usually love his illustrations, the artists he used on this one just kind of left me ....meh. They're ok, but the people aren't drawn as delightfully perfe ...more
A pretty fun read that's kind of a combination of Scooby-Doo, Supernatural, and a whole lotta science-y stuff. The main characters are sweet, and I'm interested to see how they develop. I think the overall concept is cool, but it's lacking a that OOMPH that really would have made it stand out. I'll keep reading because I have faith in John Allison, but I'm hoping for a little more next time. The whole time I was reading this volume I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, which can be a good thing ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Two friends with conflicted background (one somewhat oblivious to it :P) discover a portal to a magical world and go scooby style sleuthing into it. Along the way they pick up allies in the form of a work mate and a helpful dad, who is still very dad.

Not loving this quite as much as Giant Days, by the same author, which had an extra spark of adorable warmth to it but am liking the black girl magic element and her naive, work colleague who just seems like the sweetest guy.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
A new YA graphic novel series by John Allison, who created the "Giant Days" series, and "Adventure Time" illustrator Christine Larsen. Set in Spectrum, South Dakota separated high school chums Jane and Heather reunite when Heather returns home after graduating college. Heather talks Jane into breaking into Charleswood Estate, that once belonged to sprocket magnet Chet Charles, who mysteriously disappeared. They discover what they think is a movie projector but it is a gateway to another dimensio ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
That was about as weird as expected.
Sarah T.
Adorable! Another winner from BOOM!Box!
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Sometimes a team is a black woman, her slightly useless coworker, her estranged best friend from high school, and that woman's newly unemployed dad, and I think that's beautiful; I love unexpected team ups.

It's weird for me to read John Allison's words in this kind of setting and not see his art—though I can see his influence—but I apparently got attached to Larsen's art very quickly because after reading the book and seeing some of Allison's alternate covers at the end, I found I actually prefe
Alex Sarll
Not that I'm even vaguely caught up with any of the other John Allison comics, but I was hardly going to leave this in the library, was I? Bad Machinery and Giant Days had seemed to be bringing him somewhere almost within sight of realism, albeit in a very heightened and comic form, but this is back in the unabashedly fantastical territory of Scary Go Round, with a portal to another world hidden in a disused sprocket factory, and explored by two disaffected young women unsure what they're meant ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this enough, everything was satisfactory to me: the art, the characters, the story. It was nothing overly gripping, I'm interested to get some more backstory on Jane and Heather and see what the other dimension is all about - like the goblin and the werewolf and what's the deal with the guy who owned the place? So yeah, this was okay. ...more
Just finished vol. 1 of By Night by John Allison, which is the first comic I've ever actually had a subscription for, but reading individual comic book issues is an unusual and kind of unnatural practice for me, so I've been letting them pile up over the course of several months. Then I saw the collected trade at my library, so I checked it out and read it, which got me keyed up and really glad I had that subscription, because I could immediately read issues 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. This is a weird an ...more
Adam Stone
A fairly generic Estranged Friends Use Science Fiction Tropes To Reach A Generic Fantasy Land story.

I'm glad we've reached the point in our culture where that first sentence is possible.

I just didn't enjoy the characters in this book. I don't dislike them, I'm just not invested. On the cover of the book is a blurb from BleedingCool, which reads "John Allison captures the voice of the youth...", from which I gather that no one at BleedingCool has encountered any youth recently.

"Are you a can of
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Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This has potential, but I'm on not hooked yet after reading the first volume, which collects the first four issues. This is John Allison's newest (Giant Days), and it's a science fiction friendship story (I think?).

Former best friends Jane and Heather are both back in their hometown after college without a lot of direction. Jane wanted to be a documentary filmmaker bu now works in a lab. Heather is living at home doing who knows what. heather's dad has just been layed off as a security guard fo
Destiny Henderson
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: quirky
I think this story prides itself on its quirkiness. Because of that, the dialogue is a bit corny at times such as, "Jane, are you a can of Pepsi or a can't of Pepsi?" Ugh.

Jane is the straight man/super serious and Heather is the manic-pixie girl who won't leave her alone. To be honest, Heather bugged me with basically always throwing in Jane's face how boring she is and how she'll end life at a dead-end job and/or married. I get Jane's unfulfilled but gosh what type of friend are you? I might b
This is a very odd story, the first of what will probably be three volumes. It's got some serious adventure stuff going on, interspersed with really weird humor, which I think is one of the problems. The artwork makes the book look like it was aimed at tweens, but the actual things going on and the main characters are seemingly for a much older audience. I think it's suitable for teens and up, but would feel awkward handing it to a younger kid who is just taken by the art.
The other problem I hav

YAY !! Another issue is out !!

So, the story starts where it got left off in the last issue, right after Jane and Heather walked into the new dimension/portal.

Immediately, Heather is very elevated about their new dimension/portal discovery and the prospect of actually becoming the first "Pan-Dimensional Travelers".

She is running around looking at everything, while Jane is standing there having a personal panic attack ! Her panic attack seemed very "scientific", if you can call it that LOL ! I
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprise hit

I haven't heard of this before checking it out of the library, and now I want to read the whole series.
This is a fun comedic fantasy.
Something is hidden at the grand estate of Chet Charles, a mysterious millionaire who disappeared many years ago.
Now, two friends who haven't really been friends since high school are going to explore the estate before some darn punk teens can get in there and mess it up with their songs about ferrets.
I really liked the very goofy humor in this book, it
Rebecca Ann
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I was surprised I didn't enjoy this more. I love Giant Days and there are some similar notes in this series like the art style and the understated humor and apathy that some of the main characters experience. For some reason, it really lacked the same charm, though.

I will probably end up at least trying volume 2 because I still feel like I have no idea what is going on here. There is a moon-based portal to a fantasy dimension and two young adults trying to shake their disenchantment with life b
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John Allison is the author and artist of the British webcomics Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other authors with similar names.

Other books in the series

By Night (3 books)
  • By Night, Vol. 2
  • By Night, Vol. 3

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