Come Again fits no particular genre, though much of its style and tone resemble the slow-building, true-to-life narratives of Craig Thompson, Lucy Knisley and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. But a touch of the mystical keeps this book off-kilter, raising the stakes on a story that might otherwise have seemed thin ... Set in the 1970s, the story revolves around an 'intentional community' in the Ozarks called Haven Station. The residents are committed to the values of communal, off-the-grid living ... The community grows its own food, of course, as well as harvesting marijuana and Luna moth caterpillars to sell in the nearest outpost of civilization ... But all is not as idyllic as it seems in Haven Station — at least, not from Hal's perspective...Without spoiling the story, let's just say Hal's actions stir up a mysterious force that impacts everyone profoundly. Powell has come up with a strange and unexpected series of events that are both diverting and symbolically relevant. It's a delight to accompany such a fertile imagination to the end of the narrative.
Across two time frames—a green-tinted 1971 and a pink-tinted 1979—Powell tracks Haluska and eventually her young son, Jacob. Their Ozarks town is tiny, with exhibit A being Haluska’s long-time affair with her best friend’s husband, Adrian. They conduct their trysts in an old diamond mine they stumbled across years ago, a spot they keep secret until Adrian’s son, Shane, disappears while playing with Jacob, and Jacob leads the adults right to the mine. Except now the mine has disappeared, too ... The supernatural element is downplayed to creepy effect, giving Powell room to artistically stretch, from narrow sliced-and-diced panels to wide spreads as black as oil. Unique, puzzling, and unexpectedly sad.
Haluska’s romance with Adrian, her married long-time friend, is complicated by the fact that they both live in a small, off-the-grid 'intentional community' in the Ozarks, but they’ve found a place where they can disappear to be together, a hidden cavern containing a malevolent presence that thrives on their secrets ... There’s an undercurrent of social commentary, but Powell is ultimately looking at one woman’s attempts to make up for the mistakes of her past, taking a mystical shortcut to absolution that dulls the emotional resonance of the story ... The visual craft of Come Again is impeccable...immersing the reader in an environment and society that is more engaging than the central relationships.