Amigo Comics 2015
Written by El Torres
Illustrated by Guillermo Sanna
Enter the world of ALEXANDRA WAGNER. She murdered her BROTHER when she was a child and was institutionalized. Alex believes she protects our world from monsters, with the help of her brother from the OTHERSIDE. Obviously, these are just delusions… right?
I love a good horror story and El Torres has proven he’s got the mind, imagination and skill to tell some of the best around. With this he also enters another realm one I wasn’t expecting. With Alex having a new Doctor fresh from Harvard we see more technical jargon and his assessment of what she may be suffering from. That he took the time to research these diseases of the mind and accurately use them in the story goes a long way in lending credibility to how it’s perceived. That horror can be based in science and the two being seen in similar yet different ways is exciting for me.
We open the story with seeing her kill her brother, well not the actual event but enough so that it’s incredibly creepy and inherently fascinating. There’s this whole Hitchcock thing happening where seeing the result not the deed has a much stronger effect upon the reader that I appreciate a great deal. Also it makes just that much more effective in creeping you out as it makes your mind work in creating the scene.
Fast forward a number of years and we see an older Alex being interviewed on tape by her Doctor. There’s something about the dialogue that’s both revealing and troubling. It’s very clear she’s a headstrong young woman and has a good head on her shoulders, by that I mean intelligence cause well she’s in a mental ward. Her Doctor is typical he refuses to believe anything other than his own beliefs which unfortunately are all too common in the mental health field. There’s also a strong case being made here that says just because people see things differently doesn’t mean that they are crazy or dangerous it means they have a unique view of what’s happening around them.
In this case it would be seeing demons and monsters that bent corrupting the world. She and her brother born with special gifts that his death only enhanced well that is another thing entirely but still worthy of the same treatment. So we’ll see now that the uber-confident and amazingly smug and conceited Doctor Carrington is passing her along to wunderkind Doctor Thomas Hayes if her diagnosis will be different or if she’ll be seen ultimately in the same light.
Interesting characters among the staff and patients at this facility, among them one in particular that should bear watching, with some nice characterization and excellent story pacing make this one to watch. Honestly I could definitely see this being a movie it has all the right elements to it not to mention the setting and the subject matter. The horror field needs more intelligent and thought provoking stuff like this.
Guillermo’s interiors shine as well. I love the black and white work with the gray shadings and the pops of colour here and there. He is able to keep this accessible, dramatic and scary all at the right moments. Plus his page layouts and panel usage are pretty effective in the storytelling process. There’s a nice range of emotion from the characters and a strong sense of dread and fear permeating throughout.
This is another strong offering from El Torres and it makes me happy to see work from him of this quality and magnitude.