American Gothic Press 2019
Story by Philip Kim
Written by Holly Interlandi & Philip Kim
Illustrated by Piotr Kowalski
Coloured by Dennis Calero
Lettered by Jenn Pham
A half-conscious Hank Barrymore finds himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun at the Conway farm in Oklahoma. It's the only farm still standing in the entire town, which has been cursed by a bereaved mage named Rybach wielding two elemental demon dogs! The Conways' powerful adopted son, Cole, has managed to keep Rybach at bay, but with Hank showing up bearing news about Cole's real parentage, the farm -- and Hank with it -- could be doomed.
Oh I like this franchise a whole lot. I am also a fan that they only put out a few books so what they do release are absolutely fantastic series with the writing and artwork inside being that kind of top notch no holds barred goodness.
I really am loving the way that this story is being told. I mean Hank is no stranger to the world of monsters and whether he likes it or not once you become aware there's no turning back. It will find a way to you and you won't be able to escape it's grasp. So now Hank finds himself in the Oklahoma Panhandle at home of the Conway's and the barrel of a gun. So seriously now the way this opens up intrigues me because it ends up feeling a little too familiar if you know what I mean. Then things get shaken, not stirred, to the Nth degree and boy is this a doozy!
When this story gets rolling it's like a snowball down a mountain picking up speed and mass as it grows larger and goes faster. The story & plot development and the character development that we are seeing here is utterly phenomenal. Add in the way we see the pacing pick them up and launch them through the book at, in, around and through each other so that everything moves forward in such ways that it feels perfectly natural. Overall the way that we see this story play out is fantastic it has this rhythm to it where the ebb & flow carries the reader along. I like the twist that is introduced to the story though how this makes him fit into Monster World will need some explaining, Rybach on the other hand that's easy to see him as a a monster.
Oh Piotr your linework is impeccable as always and the attention to detail that he can bring out through the varying line weights is stupendous. That the man knows how to utilise backgrounds to enhance moments and bring a sense of size and scope to the book. So that the detail all around in what we see being equally done really is a stand out factor. The composition inside the panels and how we see depth perception by utilising the foreground and backgrounds is smartly done. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show off his stupendous eye for storytelling. Whether it is in black and white or colour the way we see light sources utilised to create shading and shadows is beautifully done. I like how the gradation effect feels with the colour blocking is rendered extremely well.
Oh there is so much here to absolutely adore in the writing and the artwork. The way the story has these twists and turns and takes you in directions that you don't expect is a highlight of the book for me. I mean I like the idea that Hank tells them about their sons origin or where he came from more accurately. Scratch that I mean theoretically when he comes from in a general sense so how he got here is another matter entirely and I look forward to seeing that explanation lol. Rybach and his motivation is loud and clear, he couldn't have been more descriptive in his reasoning and with what he now has well these ornamental objects well seeing how and when he got them is another thing I want to see.
Such a great story, series and franchise this is. You won't find this anywhere else and to be fair I'm glad because AGP is the perfect home for it.