Scout Comics 2020
Written by Brian Wickman
Illustrated by Kevin Castaniero
Coloured by Simon Gough
Lettered by Micah Myers
When a routine troll hunting gig takes a gruesome turn, Old Man Barrow finds himself in the company of a wannabe doomsday cult. Just how's he going to get out of this backwoods nightmare? Well, that axe ain't just for show.
This is a book that comes out of nowhere but doesn’t stay there long. There is this charm and wit that I wasn’t expecting as a darker sense of humour, for me it’s akin to British humour and that’s my sensibility. I am continually impressed with the choices Scout makes when it comes to what they offer us. It would seem as if they know the moment they see that it needs to be among the masses. I like what we have seen thus far as it sets up what the story is about beautifully and it leaves wanting to see and know more.
Right off the bat we do see how the Trolls just south of civilisation are important to the locals. We are also introduced to our main character and it doesn’t take long for the reader to see just what kind of man he is. It is fun, interesting and full of surprises of the best kind and I wish that this had been one of those double sized issues solely for selfish reasons that I wanted to see more. I like 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 not only presented beautifully but it also moves everything forward beautifully as well. The character development is great and as we see the men who hired Barrow show their true colours it becomes increasingly clear why he was hired in the first place. The situations and circumstances that he finds himself in really give us these massive opportunities to really get to know him. The pacing here is superb and as it takes us through the pages revealing the twists and turns along the way it’s easy to see how everything works together to create the books ebb & flow.
The way that this is structured is fantastic and how we see the layers within it coming together is really exceptionally well done. How this is being told all around makes it much more intriguing and much more interesting than I had expected it to be.
The artwork is pretty stylised and it works extremely well for this book. I do wish we’d see more backgrounds being utilised throughout, I think that they really enhance the story and help bring us depth perception, scale and that overall sense of size and scope to the story. The linework is really nice though and I am totally enjoying how it does bring out the details that we see. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a really nice solid eye for storytelling. The colour work we see is pretty nice as well. I do like how we see the browns through their hues and tones with the pops of bright colour it makes for something fun visually.
There is a great usage of creativity and imagination that we see throughout the entire issue. There are some truly memorable and unexpected moments that make this a heck of a lot more fun than you might realise should be here. These quirky books are probably the best things on stands right now and I gotta say these are the ones that you really need to be looking out for. They are amazingly well written and illustrated and I cannot get over just how excited I get each time I see a book from Scout hitting stands!