American Gothic Press 2019
Story by Philip Kim
Written by Holly Interlandi
Illustrated by Piotr Kowalski
Coloured by Dennis Calero
Lettered by Jenn Pham
Three hell-demons and an army of possessed townsfolk descend upon the last farm left in Boise City, Oklahoma, with only a shotgun, a strange boy's powers, and a detective's wits standing in the way. It's going to get bloody.
The more that I read of this the more I want to see. Which is a darn good thing because there is something about Cole's origin and how Hank has involved himself and the arrival of the three make for some damn fine reading. While I know Philip came up with the story but it's Holly who shines with the writing here. She really has opened this up for us so we can connect with the story and the characters in some wonderful ways. Plus anytime anyone adds the supernatural into a story, and I am counting Angels and Demons among that, then I am automatically going to be a fan! However, having done it in this manner blew my mind and excites me like no-ones business.
The way that this story is being told through the story & plot development as the reader is presented with these situations and how we learn information is exceptional work. The character development as well continues to be top notch as Cole, his parents and even Hank keep getting fleshed out more and more. I like how seeing Cole's parents react to their situation is something we can relate to and it just has this ring of authenticity to them that makes them not just likeable but dare I say lovable as well. With the pacing we see all the twists and turns and maybe a revelation or two being brought to light. The creates a great ebb & flow to the book as well as highlighting the way we see this structured. All in all what we see here just isn't enough, we need more, we crave more, more pages, more story whatever it is it is as addictive as any drug or cigarette.
To say that the enjoyment factor here is anything less than amazing is an understatement. Seeing how all this unfolds and to hear the dialogue and banter between characters is what makes or breaks a story. Here it makes it as we see honest reactions to the stimuli which by the way is presented in such a way that it's easy to see why Cole reacts his way. Hank's presence is one that is an oddity and while he possesses the staff he's really nothing more than a witness at this juncture. So I am looking forward to how he manages to handle himself with these new arrivals.
Piotr is one of the all-time greatest artists/illustrators in comics today. What this man can do as he brings his imagination and creativity to life through the manipulation of the various weights in the linework is extraordinary. The quality and level of detail that we see here puts so many others to shame and that he understands how important backgrounds are to a story is phenomenal. The composition inside the panels with the backgrounds and how we see depth perception and scale is amazing. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work here is gorgeous a well and it's nice to see that base colour and the myriad of hues and tones within it utilised to create shading and shadows. Or like the wood that the house is made of and how it's weathered looking that is bloody brilliant stuff.
American Gothic Press may not put out a lot of books but what they do release is always, always among the best of the best that you'll find. From the strength of the writing to the level and quality of the interiors here showcase why I love comics in all it's glorious pages.