Image Comics 2017
By Gabriel Hardman
This is a little one and done from Gabriel and I have to say I surely wouldn’t mind more of these from him. I know he took the idea of this from a pin-up he did a while back and decided to flesh that out and i’m all for things that organically coming into being. Plus it’s horror and it isn’t the modern stuff that’s full of shock, awe and gore it’s more subtle and seeps into your bones then stays there. My kind of stuff for sure and hopefully for you as well.
Love the way this story is told as we see the now and the aftermath of what’s happened and it’s like waking up in the middle of a nightmare. You have to sit up shake the cobwebs out and remember what’s happened. I absolutely adore that much of the storytelling is done visually as well. You do not need a lot of dialogue or narration in order to put a high impact story. The right visuals, the right reaction of the character to what they are seeing usually is more than enough in my humble opinion.
There’s a great use of page layouts here with the angles, perspective and how he utilises the backgrounds is utterly impressive and amazing to see. I like that it’s all muted tones and not bright colours as that kind of gives it this whole throwback vibe to when black and white movies were the only way to see movies. It’s got a special vibe to it that while highly stylised gives off a more old-fashioned feel which for me is what makes this a stand out. The attention to detail here is astonishing and the designs of the characters, clothing and those that live in The Belfry are spectacularly done.
I have to say the way this book is structured took me by surprise. It almost felt like things should end very quickly but then things go a different route. I love the feeling of suspense and fear that is infused into the story. The way the main character doesn’t know what’s going on or even the fact of what is real has him and us in this anxious state that translates extremely well.
You can see influences here to those earlier days of horror in what Gabriel does with this. That he manages to pay the respect he does and continue to make this as thoroughly modern as it is is spectacular. The Belfry for me is a modern day look at what Universal Monsters would look like if it debuted today. Full of cerebral and abject terror that is swept up in a story that takes its characters to the brink of madness and beyond.
Are you ready to meet those that live in The Belfry?