American Gothic Press 2016
Written by Tom Riordan
Illustrated by Nathan Gooden
Lettered by Marshall Dillon
This is completely awesome after reading it I felt this was a movie or should’ve been one because it seems logical that it is. There is this special something Tom does to the story that makes it incredibly modern, gripping and absolutely pulse pounding thrilling. That this is in black and white with gray tones is even better. It gives the story this old school noir horror aspect that used to scare me the heck out of me, you can thank my cousins and their little black and white tv in their bedroom for that lol.
It doesn’t take long before we get a real sense of what’s going on here. I have to admit that the timing of that makes perfect sense. Sure we could’ve gone longer without wondering why the book opened like it did and draw out the suspense but I think this was perfect timing. The concept behind it great it’s not exactly new or groundbreaking but by the same token it’s handled extremely well and makes things interesting.
As we get a fair amount of narration and a look at the characters in this story you see that Tom really thought this out. I appreciate that and the fact that while it really uses some of the most known depravity we can think of it’s also very logical in how things are presented. This is like something the mob would run if it were more effective, in fact I wouldn’t doubt that even the mob is afraid of these folks. The whole rundown of what is going, how it works and the consequences of not following the rules well it’s the perfect kind of ruthless.
I have to say too i’m mightily impressed with the diversity of the characters introduced to us as well. Different people of all walks of life with various reasons for being a part of this. Some altruistic some not it does aptly demonstrate that regardless of what stage of life you are at there are some things you are willing to do that wouldn’t fit anywhere in the mainstream or within the realm of acceptable behaviour.
I’ve said i’m a fan of the black and white art but i’m also a fan of the amount of detail nathan brings to the book. I am liking the way he uses pages and panels to keep the flow moving along. The emotions of and expressive nature of the characters is easy to read. I’m always a fan of backgrounds being used to set the stage to broaden the scope of what’s happening and where. Though there are a couple times from behind I thought Timmy was a girl but hey i’m okay with that as everyone’s stance is different and unique to them. Though that semi-bondage moment I wouldn’t have minded it going further either.
I’m almost afraid to get attached to a character here as you never know what’s going to happen. I’m super surprised at the setting this takes place in and kind of find it genius. While i’m not sure if they boys are only doing a limited run or not but there is a lot of room in this world for a myriad of stories. I’m fascinated, thrilled and dying of anticipation to see what happens next.