Image Comics 2016
Written by Brian Buccellato & J. Young
Illustrated by Matias Bergara
Coloured by B. Buccellato
Lettered by Troy Peteri
CANNIBAL is about the denizens of a small Everglades town desperately trying to hold onto their everyday lives at the dawn of a cannibal pandemic. With no cure in sight, the region has become split over what to do with the victims, though for Cash and Grady Hansen the answer is simple: Kill them. But all of that changes when the virus begins to infect people they love.
First i’m a big fan of the concept here, a massive hurricane sweeping through the area unearthed a massive mosquito colony that filled the area with these once hibernating insects which carried a 100 year old strain of Yellow Fever. The side effect of the medication used to treat those inflicted caused them to have cravings for human flesh. Not zombies just an undeniable craving for human flesh so living, thinking and feeling people who understand what it is they are doing.
In a small bayou style town in Florida life goes on as normal even while all around them they hear stories about what is going on. This town seems a mix of regular folk along with those we call swamp people, a type of hillbilly or redneck. The characterisation here is really strong as meet the denizens of this little town. When one night a fourteen year old boy taking the trash out at a local bar is attacked and eaten. This sets off a wave of panic among the residents.
There is also some as of yet unknown personal drama happening with at least one resident of the town as Danny comes looking for Grady. What this is about should be interesting considering what’s going on in the world. Then there’s Cash the bar owner’s son and bartender who is against violence and seems like a mild mannered teddy bear of a man. He’s trying to work up the nerve to ask his girlfriend to marry him. It’s so well written and so utterly cute the way he’s trying to practice. These two storylines that weave in and out of the young boys death is handled extremely well and shows us that there is so much going on in this place.
Matias and Brian’s work on the interiors is great to see. I love the style Matias has and his attention to detail that we see here. The use of page layouts with angles, perspective and of course those great backgrounds control the flow of the story beautifully. I like the darkness Brian brings too at night in the swamp it’s just gives it this extra oomph feeling about how dangerous this place could be at night.
This is a great first issue it gives us a wonderful look at this town, the people in it and how they go about their lives. We also have that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach surrounding the young boy’s death and how the townsfolk react to it. There’s an anticipation and tension surrounding the story itself and that’s kind of delicious since you know something is coming but aren’t quite sure in what manner or how. It’s a spectacular debut of a story with a great concept that’s marvelously executed.