Writer: Joseph S. Farrar
Publisher: Spotlight Anthologies
WHAT IS IT?
An anthology of short horror stories featuring multiple subgenres and styles.
Think Are You Afraid of the Dark? but for adults.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Collecting seven 4-page stories written by a fresh face to comics, this anthology explores the many genres within horror. The stories each focus on the classic horror trope, the twist ending, but display it in a variety of ways.
While most of the twists are of the gruesome or unsettling variety, some subvert expectations with emotional weight.
All of the art is in greyscale, featuring everything from more curvy, playful styles of animation and manga to the more realistic stylings of modern Western comics art.
For a new writer, Farrar's abilities demonstrate mastery of the short comic. Each story feels complete even though they are only four pages each.
There’s an impressive display of linework within this anthology. Whether it be the cleaner, crisp styles of stories like Fear or Escape or the more cartoonish Pumpkingirl and Trust Fall, there’s something for every reader.
The artists use greyscale in such a way that you don't even miss the colors, keeping every page and panel fresh and interesting. Each portion of Bump feels stylistically distinct despite having the same color palette.
Every letterer's balloon placement and color does well to ensure the words were legible, and directed the pace of each story appropriately.
The most featured letterer, Haley Rose-Lyon, did an excellent job displaying her versatility. Whether it be a children’s book style in Pumpkingirl, or more sinister, scratchier boxes for The Night Watchman, she showed her eye for perfectly matching the tone and style of each story.
Some of the endings of these stories were genuinely shocking or unexpected. Farrar builds up to each twist and ensures surprises occur on a page turn to maximize their effect.
There’s great variety featured in this anthology. Within this book are classic horror stories, a bit of dark humor, and even some deeply emotional beats.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
While the writing overall was excellent, the stories all had similar structures and lengths. A bit more variety in this regard would have made this anthology even better.
The artists expertly utilized the black and grey art style, but some effects, like blood spilling or tears, were lost in the details and could have had bigger impacts if they were in color, even if only for those moments.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Bump has everything one wants in an anthology: variety, and good storytelling with an overarching sense of cohesion. The writing doesn’t suffer in the slightest from the short comic style and it is impressive how each one was terribly interesting. The stories had excellent build-up and tension with payoffs that will surprise readers and leave them satisfied. Truly, they are little to no weak links in this collection and it is an excellent display of the amount of story comics can muster in four pages.
The number of horror subgenres and artistic styles utilized by this team shows the diversity horror anthologies like this one can achieve. Readers will appreciate the classic scary tales but can also enjoy the bits of dark humor and touching moments. The art team gathered for this anthology all have their own takes on a horror comic and keep each story visually fresh and distinct from the other. Although the styles are distinct, each addition to Bump feels like they belong together.
This book is an excellent choice for any horror fan, especially ones looking for digestible, but complete stories.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Bump vol. 2 by Joseph S. Farrar et al.
Grimm Tales from The Cave by Mad Cave Studios
Razorblades edited by James Tynion IV & Steve Foxe
If you like the art:
Coronary #1 by Ryan Burke & Joel Saavedra
Death of the Horror Anthology curated by Kelly Brack, edited by Danny Lore
Lavender Clouds by Rebecca Ollerton
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Joseph S. Farrar (@josephsfarrar) – Writer
Joseph made his debut in comics by successfully kickstarting Bump vol. 1 in September.
He studied screenwriting at university receiving his Master’s.
Joseph hails from England.
Joel Saavedra (@joelmsaavedra) – Artist & Letterer
A newcomer to comics, Joel has also done art for the independent book Coronary.
He is also a letterer and worked on the first volume of Yi Soon Shin which features a foreword by Stan Lee.
Joel is a native of Argentina.
Gica Tam (@gicatam) – Artist
Gica has contributed art to the anthology Wayward Kindred and publishes short comics on her website.
Being multitalented, they are also a graphic designer, illustrator, and printmaker.
Gica is currently the 2021 Public Access Design Fellow at the Center for Urban Pedagogy and an Artist-in-Residence at Bad Student.
Elizabeth Malette (@lizrrdbreath) – Artist & Letter
Elizabeth’s art is also featured in the comics anthology A Cold Dark Universe.
She also works as a freelance graphic designer, crafting logos and print materials for businesses and websites.
Elizabeth resides in Ontario, Canada.
J. Schiek (@schiekapedia) – Artist
J. Paul has contributed art to multiple anthologies including Death of the Horror Anthology, Elsewhere and Murky Waters.
He originally studied animation in college before focusing on comics.
J. Paul is also a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton teaching advanced figure drawing.
James Killian (@boyinashirt) – Artist
James’ work has been featured in the anthologies Folktales of Fermanagh: Dark Stories from Across the County and Turning Roads.
James hails from Ireland.
Rebecca Ollerton (@schumn) – Artist & Letterer
A prolific independent artist, Rebecca has penned multiple comics including Darkward, and A Better Tomorrow.
She also writes and self-publishes comics that focus on mental health and autism awareness.
Rebecca enjoys playing piano and tending to her houseplants in her free time.
Barry Renshaw – Artist
Since 2012, Barry has garnered a large portfolio, contributing art to multiple comics for FutureQuake Press and several upcoming projects for Engine Comics.
He also works with Topps as a Lucasfilm Star Wars sketch artist and a storyboard artist.
Barry hails from the United Kingdom.
Haley Rose-Lyon (@haleyarose) - Letterer
Haley has established herself as an accomplished letter with her biggest project being Image Comics M.O.M.: Mother of Madness.
She holds a journalism degree and has served as an editor for Bleeding Cool.
Haley was born in Canada but works in the US.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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