Created, Written, Coloured & Lettered by Billy Parker
Illustrated by Alex Smith
As a child, Zander Wylie experienced a horrific event which led him to a career in psychology. Starting his new job working with an old friend, the patients and inmates of the hospital will change his life forever. Personal demons can be more real than you think... meet the inhabitants of The D Ward.
The opening here is fantastic! I like seeing Harry in his apartment as his flatmate just left for break, more than likely meaning he's in college. Though I do have to say in retrospect that we should've known something and I would love to find out if he'd anything to do with this. What we see and hear is what has such a profound effect on Zander and honestly who wouldn't have a kind of mental breakdown after hearing that? Though he didn't really have one but that event did create in him the desire to follow in the field he's chosen.
What a spectacular way to grab the readers' attention and give them the desire, nay need, to know more. I got to say little Z grew up alright and he's a cutie. I wonder if he has ever had friends his own age but that's neither here nor there it's something that pops into the head, which isn't the first time that the reader will go off-script while becoming engaged in this book. The story & plot development here is incredibly well done as we see through the sequence of events that unfold before us as well as how the reader learns information. I really am enjoying the way we learn of the patients that inhabit the D Ward, it's a classic way of doing it and it's really done well. The character development we see is strong and interesting as we don't have this large opportunity to get to know them yet but we do with Eb and everything we see is just the start of what we'll learn. With the pacing, which is excellent, we get this wonderful ebb & flow to the story as it meanders through what we need to know before moving onward.
From the title alone I had figured we'd dealing with some sort of crazy folks but this takes it the extra mile. I've seen a demon, a demon made me do it, all the excuses in the world where a demon could've done it or they've seen one first hand gets them thrown in here. Demonmania.
The interior artwork here is amazingly rendered. The linework is fantastic and the way we see the varying weights bring out the attention to detail is utterly marvellous. The faces, facial expressions and the body language all continue the characterisation in ways that words alone cannot do. Plus I am sorry but Harry and now Zander are some good looking boys. I am utterly impressed with the way we see the composition inside the panels and how backgrounds are utilised to bring us depth perception, scale, a size and scope to the story and simply enhance the moments. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a very talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is nicely done. There are some nifty tricks in changing the hues and tones we see as well as how we get shading, highlights and shadow work.
This could very well be one my new favourite series. With such complex layered storytelling and what's right up on the surface alongside these marvellous interiors this book stands up to anything else you could possibly find on stands. Still with the subject matter and the setting who knows it could turn into a better version of Dream Warriors. I look forward to what's coming next. So familiarise yourself with Keenspot because they have some dynamite books!