Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Writer: Cullen Bunn Art: Jonas Scharf Publisher: BOOM! Studios
This review only covers the first issue, released in July. Because of that, we don't have insight into the full story arc, so this review might look a little different than my other reviews of entire volumes of comics.
WHAT IS IT?
The first issue of what I hope will be a much longer tale of a drug made from corpses, the incredible high it offers and the chilling toll it begins to take on those who use it.
It feels dark & gothy, like a '90s horror film. You can't help but imagine distorted power chords thrumming throughout the story's scenes.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? (Minor Spoilers)
There's a popular new drug taking over New Orleans. The folks taking it may care more about its extremely vivid effects than its source, but there are others who are more in-the-know, and they aren't the FDA.
As local gangs fight over the limited supply of "Ash" and try to expand their influence on the area, we learn others have bigger problems they have to deal with. Developing a tolerance to the drug and getting diminishing effects, sure. That's to be expected. But we soon learn that every drug takes its toll, and there are some bad trips you don't come back from.
Cullen Bunn is a master of horror, and stories like these are his bread and butter
While the title does feel influenced by '90s horror films, it doesn't feel dated or out of touch
Often, a scary story tied to drugs can feel like a cautionary tale or a gimmick -- not the case with Bone Parish
Scharf's art and Guimarães' colors are perfect for this story, adding to the dark, brooding tone and really gives it a gritty, urban aesthetic
The narrative is so tight and compelling that by the end of the issue, you're as hooked on the story as its characters are on the drug
Representation is pretty good here -- the majority of the characters are people of color
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Does it feel wrong if the book about urban drug use features mostly people of color?
This title isn't for kids; there's obviously drug use, as well as violence and partial nudity
So far, none of the characters are that memorable, but it's still just the first issue
It's too early to be able to say what else doesn't work -- we need to see more of how this plays out!
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
As I mentioned earlier, Cullen Bunn writes great horror stories, and this one has a very promising start. Want a some dark, urban, drug-induced terror? Pick up Bone Parish from your local comics shop. You won't even have to rob a grave for it.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Harrow County by Cullen Bunn & Tyler Crook
The Unsound by Cullen Bunn & Jack T. Cole
Redlands, Vol. 1 by Jordie Bellaire & Vanesa Del Rey
If you like the art:
Bone Parish #2 by Cullen Bunn & Jonas Scharf
The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore
Metro by Cullen Bunn, Brian Quinn & Walt Flanagan
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Cullen Bunn – Writer
Most often writes horror comics for creator-owned titles and superhero comics for Marvel
Prolific: Has written tons of comics over the years, as well as novels and short stories
He recently launched a YouTube channel (Missouri Swagger) with fellow comics writer, Dennis Hopeless, which mentioned yours truly in episodes 3 & 7!
Jonas Scharf – Illustrator
Outlander: Lives in Germany
Has also worked on titles like Power Rangers and War for the Planet of the Apes
Alex Guimarães – Colorist
NOT the soccer player
Outlander: Is from Brazil
Ed Dukeshire – Letterer
Founder of Digital Webbing Press
Dream Team: Worked with Cullen Bunn on The Empty Man, which recently got picked up for an ongoing series!
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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