What a downer. Not because of the big reveal at the end, but because of how writer Joshua Hale Fialkov compares the mundanity to normal existence to purgatory. For a while, it seems like The Life After is just a gentle Matrix riff, with some often really good art from Gabo. The art's not always great, but it's always competent and the ambitious stuff makes up for the rest.
The way Fialkov handles revealing the truth to the reader–and to his protagonist–is to aggressively force the reader to examine everything he or she has read already in the comic. For the protagonist, it's a different experience. Fialkov juggles the two responsibilities–one to the reader, one to the protagonist–well. Even with a surprising guest star at the end, Life After is grounded.
Without the guest star, the comic could actually just be a one shot. Fialkov's plot construction is very strong.
Writer, Joshua Hale Fialkov; artist and colorist, Gabo; letterer, Crank!; editors, James Lucas Jones and Ari Yarwood; publisher, Oni Press.