AWA Upshot Studios 2020
Written by Jeff McComsey
Illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards
Coloured by Giovanna Niro
Lettered by John Workman
For two generations, the rural hill town of Grendel, Kentucky has honored its Faustian bargain with the monster living in its abandoned coal mine: a human sacrifice every season in return for agrarian prosperity the likes of which this rocky region had never before seen (including its greatest cash crop: the dankest weed in the land). When one town elder breaks this pact, Grendel's only hope is that its prodigal daughter will return home to face down the creature of her nightmares—and bring her all-female biker gang with her. In this concluding issue, Marnie finally enters the mine that haunted her as a child.
I have to say this has been one of the most interesting stories to come about of late and more so considering what it is based off of. You always know a great story by how often it is referenced and used to tell more and varied stories of. When you get someone who has this amazing story to tell and it takes on a life of its own and surpasses that of it’s inspiration well then you have a book like this. In four issues we’ve met a family with a curse to bear and the subsequent destruction of that family and so much more and it’s left its mark on every single person who has read this.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented beautifully. The character development we see is phenomenal and as the whole centres around Marnie this is most powerful issue of this series or arc depending on if there is something that comes next. The pacing is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way, not to mention a revelation or two as well, and it is so amazing to see.
The way that we see this being structured and how the layers within the story come to their natural conclusion is so well done. The way everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow so that we breeze through the pages showcases some beautiful talent.
I have been a fan of the interiors here since day one. The linework is fantastic and to see how the varying weights and techniques are being utilised to bring out the detail we see is simply stunning. I mean how we see the composition in the panels and how backgrounds are utilised to add the sense of an extra character really do wonders in how the reader experiences the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a beautiful eye for storytelling. The colour work is divine. How we see the various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work that we see shows a superb eye for how colour works.
AWA Upshot Studios have come out of the gate swinging and with the pedigree of those involved it is no wonder that we’ve seen nothing but hit after hit with each book they release. This one is so brilliantly told and how the story unfolds for the reader and genges their minds and imaginations so that they effectively come under the spell of these storytellers is bloody fantastic. This is the kind of storytelling that encourages the reader to seek out the source material it is based upon and while there is no comparison I love that it has this unique effect on everyone who reads it.