Zenescope Entertainment 2015
Written by Ralph Tedesco & Pat Shand
Illustrated by Sami Kivela
Coloured by Marco Lesko
Lettered by Fabio Amelia
Every town has one: that creepy abandoned house that kids dare each other to explore.
Some say that it’s infested with ghosts, while others talk of a horrible crime that was committed there... but what if the terrors of that house were more than just an urban legend?
Okay I liked this one a lot. The idea behind it is solid and that this reporter for a local station is kind of fed up being fed fluff pieces to report on and wants something with more substance only to find himself in way over his head is a great premise. It doesn’t hurt that he kind of looks like Geraldo either at least to me he does.
I think the fact that we don’t get a lot of background information on what’s really happening at Islip Manor is part of the appeal here. We see Louis do the research and that there might be a larger story to what’s going on here aside from people using the legend of the house they live in to make money. That alone is kind of charlatanism but not necessarily a crime in itself. More sensationalist than anything else.
That he has to fight his boss to go after this story that has intrigued him well I guess haunted houses aren’t news anymore now are they, they are the subject of reality cable tv shows instead. I do like that Louis suspects something is going on behind the scenes and that his boss was more willing to look into this more seriously should he end up disappearing himself. Still his visit to the house well it’s fairly routine, if you can call it that.
Thanks to Sami and Marco you can tell something isn’t quite right with the current owners of the house. They have this sinister quality to them that says yes they are doing something shady and yet there is also an underlying current to what they are up to. I’m loving what they are doing with the interiors here, the wallpaper alone is spectacular and the faces, facial expressions do a lot for telling more of the story than just the words alone. The way the pages and panels are used to tell the flow of the story and the creative, imaginative use of the real horror behind the house is extremely well done.
As his story falls apart around him Louis is beginning to think there’s no hope for him in this small town and how little does he know he’s all too right. While we don’t understand how what happens happens that’s okay there’s enough to put the pieces together in our own minds and still a lot open for interpretation. It’s a good telling of a story that while familiar deviates enough from the common path to make it extremely interesting.
What this issue does for me more than anything else is now I want this creative team to do a different kind of Haunted House story. Use the reality television show setting to create a house that kills those searching for the truth. Make it creepy and interesting and go all out because this shows me they can do that. There’s a surprise in what’s happening and the end result that says hey this is far from over but is the house the cause, effect or solution to the family’s problem?