Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ is a Stunning First Chapter in What Promises to Be an Epic Queer Love Story (Review)

by | Nov 14, 2019

Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ is an original graphic novel published by Renegade Arts Entertainment from writer/artist Kyle Simmers and visual artist/writer Ryan Danny Owen. You can order the OGN by clicking HERE. This is my review:

A touching and tender graphic novel following Ed, a reserved man dealing with dementia in a small, northern-Canadian town. As Ed’s memory declines he loses touch with the present and revisits a past he chose to forget. A queer, romantic-tragedy. ISBN: 9781988903590

I read Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ in one, very fast, very captivated sitting and by the time I blasted through every page – I concluded this session depressed and deeply annoyed that I didn’t have the next chapter in my hands immediately. This book is in fact only part one of five in Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen’s epic tale of a man suffering from the early stages of dementia as he reminisces about the past with his fishing buddy and struggles with every-day errands such as getting groceries, or simply remembering to put on shoes before leaving the house.

Knowing this is simply the first chapter in what promises to be this epic tale of a man reconnecting with his past before he literally loses his mind to this horrible disease, I’m excited to see what comes next but I will say that the ending to chapter one is very jarring and left me flipping imaginary pages that just weren’t there in order to continue this gripping drama. I was unfamiliar with both Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen beforehand, but this duo has created something VERY special and unique with this story. Visually it is absolutely gorgeous as Simmers’ style and limited color palette manage to make the reader feel like they are simultaneously in a dream state whilst still remaining grounded in reality. The dialog and characters all feel familiar because these creators have managed to tap into so many strong emotions early on. So even though we haven’t gotten to the core of the queer subject matter quite yet, we’ve already become attached to Ed and these supporting characters.

According to the kickstarter campaign, the upcoming second chapter will explore Ed’s time being in a glam rock band in 1970’s Canada. I need to read that chapter immediately because although I did love ‘Gone Fishin’ – I felt there was a complete lack of an ending. Of any sort. It literally felt like the book ends without any warning and I’ll be honest when I say that I feel there could have been a couple more pages to lead into chapter 2 or at least set up this next revelation in Ed’s life better. It’s my only complaint but it’s a big one because every book needs an ending and Gone Fishin’, while absolutely stunning and brilliantly written, just doesn’t have one.

By the time Simmers and Owen complete this five-chapter saga of Ed — this could likely be one of the strongest literary works regarding queer romance ever published. It’s written so well that it could be adapted into a film with ease and it doesn’t hurt that Simmers’ artwork is among the best I’ve seen published from Renegade Arts to date. Visually I was drawn to Pass Me By instantly and then the strength of this story wouldn’t let me put the damn thing down until I was finished. GIVE ME MORE!!!

Rating: 4/5

Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’