Dark Horse Comics 2018
Written by Evan Dorkin
Illustrated by Veronica Fish
Layouts & Lettering by Andy Fish
After the vicious mausoleum attack by a zombie dean, our student heroes learn the true supernatural origins of Blackwood College, why they were enrolled, and their own potential occult powers. Meanwhile havoc continues at the school as the students are plagued with monster insect attacks and a run-in with a two-headed mummified chimpanzee.
So two things right away, 1. is that I am sad that this is only four issues 2. this is so much better than Gotham Academy! I mean this is how I want to see four students get acclimated to their new school which they know nothing about. I mean they’ve gotten to school, got a sweet arse suite to share and then met the dean as some kind of tentacle zombie which then pulled one of them into a well. That is one big way to have a first issue and even better is that Evan is picking up right where we left off last issue.
The way that this is structured is utterly sensational and Evan somehow manages to get us to like unruly, surly and angsty teenagers which is something you wouldn’t expect. Also I have to give major credit here for the thought process that was done to come up with this book. Four strangers thrust into a suite at a school that’s not exactly on most people’s radar and already they’ve been drawn into something that would make most people have to change their underwear. I like that we are already seeing some strong characterisation and then as a reader I have to think outside what’s on the page to see who will and who won’t ultimately get along. This isn’t the only time you go outside what’s on the page and that kind of storytelling is exceptional to see.
The pacing is great and I like the whole ebb & flow of the story. There is a great sense of how things that are progressing should and then could happen next. You almost want to be in the story itself and to interact with these characters while they spend their first night at school chasing stories. The way new characters are introduced is extremely well done and as the cast of characters expands we see more and more what is really behind this school. Also there are a few revelations in store for these kids and how they react to them is what is going to make them who they will become. I like that for now this is so new that it can be exciting and while the adrenaline isn’t wearing off they are staying for a bit. What happens when things “calm” down we’ll see.
The interior artwork here is great. I love Veronica’s style and that she’s colouring this as well makes it all the better since everything is exactly what they want us to see. The attention to detail is extremely nice to see and the use of colours to do things like the glyphs are highlights in the book. The creativity and imagination on display here is exciting to see and with the utilisation of page layouts and how we see angles and perspective show off her amazing eye for storytelling. Also I really like how the folks are so individual in their appearances that’s a lot to do and its impressive.
The way they’ve gone about putting this together from premise through execution this is one of those books that should become a franchise and it has the potential to be one of the Teen + reading material that everyone goes gaga over. Yes think Potter.