Action Lab Danger Zone 2016
Written by Damon Clark
Illustrated by Alyzia Zherno
Edited & Lettered by Zen
After the death of his mother, Christian moves with his single father to the sleepy coastal town of Shell Bay. Upon being bullied at his new school, he’s quickly befriended by the group of “weird” kids. But what Christian doesn’t know is that their playful occult shenanigans may actually be rituals that damn his soul!
I’m pretty impressed with this issue. The interiors have this wonderful ethereal quality to them and are wonderfully expressive. The story is one easily relatable to as Christian moves to a new town after his mom’s death. Being the new kid or an outcast is something so many of us can relate to and finding a group of friends where you can belong well that’s always something we long for. So what Damon and Alyzia do here is start off something seemingly innocent and incredibly charming.
The opening of the issue shows us the relationship between father and son and it’s warm and welcoming after suffering such a tragedy. This kind of hits home for me as I remember my own mother’s passing and seeing how my father suffered through that. It’s sensitive and caring and extremely well thought out and executed. That Christian’s dad takes a job close to a family member to start over again well it fits and while Christian may unhappy about it you can see the love in this family.
The way that Damon can bring the reader into this story so fully with such great characterisation and story direction is wonderful to see. That we get a lot of charm and real life developments here that will lead to something more hauntingly sinister is well done also. By the end of the issue you can see that Christian’s new life and new friends may have found something or be involved in something he could never be prepared for.
I really do like the interiors here. They are just as soft, charming and emotional as the writing is. The use of page layouts through angles and perspective really help tell the story very well. The use of backgrounds are well placed and give off a sense of something that you can’t quite put your finger on but definitely feel.
This whole issue feels like the calm before the storm as we get to know the characters and how they’ve ended up where they are. It’s well paced, the story direction is marvelously done and that as a reader you are drawn into this in such a powerful way shouldn’t go unnoticed. This for me is the emergence of a very talented writer whose career is going to be one to watch.
You’ll be hooked from the start and by the time the issue ends you’ll be fully invested and wanting to know just where this story is going. It has something of an old fashioned ghost story feel to it that is undeniably wonderfully creepy.