Writer: Dillon Gilbertson Art: Francesco Iaquinta Publisher: Dillon Does Comics
This review covers the first 2 issues of a 5-issue limited run. Since we don't have the full picture yet, we can't quite go into detail about the entire story arc, so details may be more minimal or look different from reviews of entire volumes.
WHAT IS IT?
A horror story where monsters are commonplace and a county is just doing its best to survive them.
It's kind of like It Follows, if you could see the monster stalking the characters.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
There's a town where monsters lurk all around, constantly watching and waiting.
There are two types of monsters. The common ones are slow, and with the right preparations and changes to lifestyle, they can be avoided altogether. The monsters may even lose interest entirely. But the second kind are rarer and deadlier. They can still be held off with the right life choices, but they never leave. And once their victim dies, they often begin to stalk their closest family member.
The town knows this. The police help how they can, but they can't do enough to save people consistently. The schools' curriculums teach students how to live with these monsters, and how to avoid them.
This story follows a single family, haunted by a single monster. The kind who never gives up. The kind you can't shake.
And it's very, very hungry.
The super metal-style title logo on the cover
The monsters stalking their victims, waiting for them to slip up or slowly wearing away at them is a really effective and versatile analogy for many mental and physical illnesses, allowing readers of all kinds to identify with the story more intimately
Often, with horror, people want new, innovative ideas -- the concept of a town existing simply to survive a pack of monsters is fresh and terrifying in how real and natural it feels
Iaquinta's art with Pagnotta's moody colors makes for a very dark and sinister aesthetic that amps up the terror
Temofonte's sound effects are unique and blend fantastically with the art to bring scenes to life
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
At first, when I read the first issue, I didn't love how so much of the story was told through exposition rather than showing us over time. When I read the second issue, this goes away, and it makes more sense narratively.
The 1st issue reads almost as a cautionary tale, like a story passed onto others
The 2nd reads more like a traditional comic
Make sure you read at least the first 2 issues before you decide you want to read more!
Frightening monsters, gory violence and some light language
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
When it comes to horror, especially in comics, my expectations are pretty low. It's hard to do something new and interesting with the genre, and it's even harder to be scary in a medium that can't rely on music or jump scares. But I really enjoyed these issues, and I'm 100% onboard for the ride. The world-building pulls you in, the monster logic is fascinating and fresh, and the story works on multiple levels.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
The Cellar Calls My Name by Dillon Gilbertson & Seba Lizana
Cold Spots by Cullen Bunn & Mark Torres
Scratcher by John Ward & Juan Romera
If you like the art:
Sweet Heart, issue #3 by Dillon Gilbertson & Francesco Iaquinta
Croak by Cody Andrew Sousa & Francesco Iaquinta
Bone Parish by Cullen Bunn & Jonas Scharf
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Dillon Gilbertson – Writer
Living with diabetes influenced the story for Sweet Heart
When he's not writing, he works as a Pulmonary/Sleep Researcher
He's currently working on a story for the Local Haunts Anthology, live on kickstarter until Nov. 28th, 2018
Francesco Iaquinta – Artist
Outlander: Hails from Italy
Loves listening to metal
Currently an artist at Alterna Comics
Marco Pagnotta – Colorist
Outlander: Also lives in Italy
Currently works with with Bookmaker Comics and Titanium Comics
Saida Temofonte – Letterer
Test of Time: A veteran letterer with over a thousand issues credited to her
Multitalented: Also works as a Graphic Designer & Production Artist
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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