Created & Written by Tim Seeley
Created & Illustrated by Corin Howell
Coloured by Mark Englert
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
Charles “Chip” Ipswich isn’t one of those coastal elites with a liberal arts degree and a job at a social media start-up who knows where all the best brunch places are…No, Chip is one of the “forgotten men.” He lives in a rural area in the middle of the country where Jesus still has a place at the dinner table and where factories ship jobs to Calcutta. Chip is also a vampire. Stuck working the last shift at a gas station, Chip is lonely and bored…and then his dull, bleak life is turned upside down when SHE comes to town.
I hadn’t expected this to be as funny as it is. I guess considering Tim’s history I should have but nope. I like that too because it brings something new to the vampire genre that mixes both an interesting premise with some well intended humour so that the end result is something I am not sure many people saw coming. While there is plenty of time to explore the intricacies of the vampires habits and hunting grounds rules, well hopefully there is, right now this is meant to introduce us to the characters and set up that which is going to turn Chip’s world upside down.
So I kind of like the fact that Chip has himself a third shift shit job where he does his best to blend into the scenery instead of stand out. This means that some of them still intrinsically value their privacy and don’t want the world to know they exist. At least to some degree. I like the way that we are introduced to the characters here from Chip’s boss, to the colourful characters in this small sleepy town to Evie who comes with her own set of trials and tribulations and finally those who would intrude upon his territory. Of all of this is done in ways that I really appreciate seeing as it falls in line with how you would expect us to meet them and while I hope this going to be longer than one limited run if we don’t get all the details in regards to everyone well so far what we got is more than enough to get the ball rolling.
Corin, if you are going to bring us backgrounds to set the stage, which you are doing beautifully, then please continue with them throughout there really any blank backgrounds when you have already started using them. That being said I really do like the way that she is bringing these characters to life. The linework here is extremely well utilised and how we see the varying weights utilised to create some wonderful attention to detail is fantastic. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show us her rather lovely eye for storytelling. The colour work here too is a joyful thing to see. Whether it is the bold neon signage or the gradation in the cab of a truck everything is utilised to it’s fullest to really deliver a wonderful impact. Also nicely done with the eyes Heck even the reflection on the mopped floors and fangs all of which pop for various reasons.
All around there is a really nice use of creativity and imagination to help the reader fully immerse themselves in this. Tim as always has one of those wonderful and unique voices in comics today and he really does understand his craft exceptionally well. With a good premise, strong story & plot development and some incredible characterisation to go alongside Corin’s delight work in the interiors and Aftershock just keeps proving they aren’t a flash in the pan they are here to make a difference in the medium.