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Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Writer: Cullen Bunn Art: Jonas Scharf Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Bone Parish, issue #1, cover, BOOM! Studios, Bunn/Scharf

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.


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


  • 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!

Bone Parish, issue #1, page 6, BOOM! Studios, Bunn/Scharf


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.


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


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!


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The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All BOOM! Studios characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright BOOM! Studios or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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