Black Caravan/Scout Comics 2021
Written by Jon Clark
Illustrated by Travis Williamson
Lettered by April Brown
Black Caravan Imprint! Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Millions of Americans pack the aisles of retail outlets all over the country battling for the best bargains. While an unlucky clean-up crew deals with the aftermath of the latest Black Friday frenzy, they discover that years of pent-up negative energy has released something very evil and dark into their superstore, which is just the way corporate wanted it.
Well it isn’t so far out there as one might believe that a corporation would want to create complete and utter madness at their store on and for Black Friday. The more violent and effed up the better right this way word gets around and suddenly year by year the amount of folks passing through the doors increases steadily. We all know the horror stories and television shows tend to make the day that much harsher the reality is but if it weren’t we wouldn’t really enjoy it would we? So I like the way this starts us off with all the craziness of a box store on Black Friday, with the deals, the shoving and everything that entails. The story however gets going when we are introduced to two of the main characters, Javi and Ceci and from there things take a decidedly more outside the box turn.
I am a fan of the way that this is being told. How we see the story & plot development advance through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The snippets of backstory, just enough to set the stage for what’s currently happening without having to get too far in-depth, how the characters come to be where they are at that moment. All of it has a very easy way about it. The character development is great and I get kind of who they are, more so the manager as anyone who’s ever worked retail knows him. So watching them act and react to the situations and circumstances and watching them form into who they are is great to see. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages it is actually kind of mesmerising or hypnotic in how the focus stays glued to the pages.
I do like how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story are being introduced, and how they are introduced. Seeing how everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow is stupendous. This is a ride on the crazy train and you’ll be wanting your ticket punched ASAP!
The interiors here are crazy cool in their own unique way. It has this kind of Shel Silverstein on acid kind of feel to it and it completely and utterly works! The linework that we see is great and how with the varying weights we see as well as different techniques being utilised to showcase the detail in the work is so gosh darn impressive. Considering we’re in a box store I do wish we’d see backgrounds more instead of what looks like blue skie, at 3am. Still how we see the composition within the panels has definite bonus points added to how we see this. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a strong eye for storytelling. The colour work is pretty nifty as well. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours as well as the techniques utilised in creating darker colours is really impressive. I mean to show plenty of space and then to keep tightening up the crosshatching till it feels darker and darker without actually changing the hue or tone is brilliantly done.
While the Black Caravan imprint from Scout is impressive in itself and the fact that nothing i’ve from that has disappointed me in any way continues to showcase how smart they are in choosing the properties they endorse. This bold, daring, creepy and has plenty of dark humour to keep you smiling, weary and engaged in this book.