Scout Comics 2017
Written by Mina Elwell
Illustrated by Eli Powell
Sam is hunting a horrific creature. With the help of her friend Joey, she breaks into an abandoned mental hospital, not that Sam tells him why they're there. A local teenager is missing. The bite on Sam's arm from the creature is causing her to have strange experiences. Will Sam be able to discover the secrets of her town's past, or will the experience cost her and her friends their sanity - or their lives?
I’ll be honest here there’s a big disconnect between issues 1 and 2 for me here. There isn’t that natural bridge that connects the two for as far as I can see. It’s like we go from the house and the man she’s taking care to being in a car driving god knows where. It’s like we jumped or went past the decision making process which makes me feel like this one just started somewhere else rather than where it should have. I could be wrong but I wish we’d opened with maybe Sam and Joey talking about going then seeing them in the car.
Now that they are in the car and going through Dollop Town the colour commentary about the locals well that’s what we live for. Talkin smack about a place and it’s population I mean that’s catty fun when you are driving. Though I’ll say this much heh it’s one thing to talk about it’s another entirely when it’s proven to be true! Still it’s a good bit of characterisation as we get to see the easy banter back and forth between the two.
So once arriving at their destination things start to get interesting. Sam’s previous exposure to the things she’s not supposed to see has in my humble opinion left her vulnerable to what happens this issue. I think it’s kind of cool to see how she’s able to see things and experience stuff that isn’t there or actually happening thanks to, well we’ll call it an infection, the bite. What this adds to the story is kind of immeasurable since it’s going to effect the story direction and development from here on out. It does make me wonder now if this is kind of a look at the past, premonition of what’s to come or simply a story being told to her to help her understand?
What is going on with Eli this issue? His work seems to have become less focused and more sketchy than I am used to. Joey in particular is someone who’s face I'm having a hard time identifying by looking at it. Maybe it’s just me and how I'm seeing it after his eye for storytelling through the use of angles and perspective in the page layouts is strong. The graveyard scene what and follows are nicely done and the bike has a great look to it. There are moments it all feels rushed and yet he manages to get the backgrounds in which are awesome.
So there’s a missing local boy, a creepy abandoned asylum with it’s own graveyard with nothing more than numbered plots and Sam who’s bite is acting up when she’s here. Oh yeah nothing ominous about all that! Still the tension is okay and we get that creepy feeling something big is going to happen. So the fact that we aren’t really able to see or differentiate between what Sam sees and what the general populace, in this case Joey and Shiggy, see. So it’s rather an interesting way for things to play out that whole real/surreal or plain old hallucinating one thing into something else plus the fact that we don’t know only increases that interest factor.
With everything I’ve said I’ll also say that this is an interesting book that has potential to keep growing. It’s got a solid leading lady in Sam and a mission that’s a mystery to go along with the creepy crawlies that only few can see. There is this dark creativity and imagination on display here that heightens the experience and puts this where it belongs, genre wise and in your hands.