Oni Press 2015
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Drew Moss & Nick Filardi
Lettered by Crank!
The Stubbs are a rowdy, trouble making bunch, but the Whatelys... folks speak of the Whatelys in hushed whispers. When the Whatleys bargain with dark forces to rid them of the Stubbs clan, four unlikely heroes are all that’s left between a ravenous legion of ghoulish, vampiric creatures and the unsuspecting world beyond the boundaries of this sleepy Ozarks community.
Well now things are definitely getting weird and interesting in these pages. Last issue Seth Stubbs turned into a vampire and started squealing as if calling something. We open this issue with the dogs on the porch barking madly at a swarm of approaching Tarantula’s. Who while large in size are generally a docile spider they attack the dogs with a ferocity and the poor pooches well yeah.
Meanwhile inside Seth faces off against our quartet and ends up outside where the spiders converge with him. When Seth lept out the window he opened up the house wider to the invading swarm as the vampire starts talking about his master and what he has to offer. I have to admit the way Cullen is bringing this to life is extremely creepy and just a whole lot of fun. Sure they don’t really have a lot of time to figure out what’s happening and they are rolling with the punches beautifully.
I also like the way that Cullen keeps things moving along. Cecil being the kind of man he is is really pretty awesome but it’s natural that even this foursome isn’t going to remain intact throughout this adventure. Heck even Jack isn’t immune to what’s happening here but this Bo Duke lookalike is one of those characters whose essential to the story so it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. I love that he’s the late night monster movie fanatic who knows about the vampires and is more readily open to it. Plus what we’ve already seen him do with that bull well it’d be a shame if anything really serious happened to him.
See the writing and characterization is so well done that we’ve already come to care a lot about them. A good writer can immediately set the tone and continue to flesh out characters a little bit at a time so that we as readers come to think of them as real individuals caught up in a frightening nightmare scenario. Cullen’s done just that this setting, this town, these simple, for lack of a better word, folk are in over their heads but we are completely engrossed in their plight.
It helps when you’ve got the talents of Drew and Nick as well bringing all this to life. I mean there’s a certain kind of backwater charm to these vampires that set them apart from what we’ve always thought of them as. Then there’s the spiders that they use so effectively to keep the creepy factor amped up to ten. The use of page and panel layouts and attention to detail in expressions really keep us on the edge of our seats.
So with their numbers down by one can the three of them rally the strength needed to free their town and end this Blood Feud and survive? We’ll find out next issue.
Creepy, fun and highly addictive this story is sure to thrill everyone!