Image Comics 2018
Created & Written by Cullen Bunn
Created & Illustrated by Mark Torres
Lettered by Simon Bowland
The unquiet dead gather around a crumbling island mansion, drawn to a quiet young girl who is trapped within the dreary old house. The girl’s father has come to bring her home, but a sinister family with dark and murderous plans stands in his way.
Oh my god this is what I am talking about people it’s a few days before Halloween as I am reading this issue and we all know that Cullen is a master storyteller so that we get such a story from him, Mark and Simon well yeah it’s just perfectly timed. Well that and I love a good horror story and with all the slasher stuff that’s out there right now having a good old fashioned ghost story at your fingertips. If you have any doubts about what I am saying here then look at the opening page and tell me you don’t get chills from both joy and creepiness.
So Dan has come face to face with the mother of his child and the daughter of his current employer. I love the writing here and the dialogue because Alyssa had their daughter and never told him about it and now blames him for not being there or caring about her before today. Oh this is the kind of stuff that both infuriates the reader and gets them motivated to keep going to see what is going to happen next. Already I can tell you I don’t like her as she is trying to twist things around and is doing her best to dissuade him from meeting a daughter she never told him about. I get tumultuous relationships and torrid love affairs but these two make the cast of Dynasty look like daytime soap actors.
The way this book is structured is perfect. Everything that occurs within this issue is in this house with these characters so there is no need for transitions or flashbacks it all flows straight through like in real-time. It has been so long since I have seen this done in comics let alone done this well. Naturally Dan is new to all this and has no idea what the hell is going on and that’s perfect we don’t know his belief’s where he stands on the supernatural so he’s basically a clean slate to us and getting to see him react and begin to understand what’s going on is sensationally well done.
Mark’s work on the interiors here is utterly amazing. The way he uses the effects so we see the spirits or whatever they are, it isn’t exactly clear yet but I am going with spirits, has this very unique quality to it that creates a huge impact. More so when placed with the living is powerful and so dramatic. The imagination and creativity of what we see here is interesting to me. The clothing, the house and these spirits all of it have these different elements to them that should set off alarm bells but just kind entrance the reader. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a seriously good eye for storytelling. The linework we see and how it’s used to bring the characters to life as well as bring us these beautifully utilised backgrounds makes this an honest to god treat.
I love what we see here and how as the events unfold we see characters grow and evolve. That we know so little about some and have a desire to know about others this story keeps getting better and better and keeping us in the dark as they only serves to increase the intrigue. This is the kind of stuff dreams and nightmares are made of and why we can’t seem to get enough of it.