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Updated: Nov 26, 2019

Writer: Ryan O'Sullivan Art: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Vault Comics

Fearscape, Issue #5, cover, Vault Comics, O'Sullivan/Mutti
Fearscape, Issue #5, cover, Vault Comics, O'Sullivan/Mutti

This review only covers the 5th issue. For more discussion of previous issues, click here.


A moody, meta, medium-breaking comic disguised as horror fantasy with an unreliable narrator who is a plagiarist who gets in way over his head.

It's a little like Dante's Inferno with a Twin Peaks aesthetic and a Memento narrative. It also has a pinch of Breaking Bad, as the creators see just how evil they can make their protagonist while keeping readers worried about him.


If you don't want previous issues spoiled for you, READ THOSE NOW BEFORE READING THIS.

OK? Good to go? Great.

Henry Henry has done some horrible things. Unforgivable things. He's dug himself a hole so deep, he finally hit bedrock.

Henry scrambles to cover up his actions, clumsily lying and gaslighting the characters and even us, as the audience. As he does this, other forces scramble for power or against it in the Fearscape.

The house of cards Henry built will come crashing down one way or another. Who will be left under the rubble?


  • Henry Henry's attempts at gaslighting are taken to near-comical heights, as is his ineptitude – he can't even successfully choose a number between 1 and 3

  • It never ceases to entertain how Henry will tell us he's not doing something as he is doing it (see below for an example)

  • That selection below is also a great example of Mutti's clever way of changing the panel borders and relying on Vladimir Popov's expert coloring to show the difference between the times and realities

  • The way O'Sullivan and Mutti take the pieces of the story and make them make sense is like a magician completing a magic trick. You're left there, mouth agape, trying to remember every detail so your brain can draw a thread of logic through them.

  • Andrea Mutti's panelling change in the final pages is like a film cutting all soundtrack and background noise, lending an eerie quiet that makes you focus on what's right in front of you

  • The return of the 9-panel grid vs the page it precedes...well, let's just say it's very effective (so as not to spoil anything), especially after the very beginning of the series

  • Andworld's Deron Bennett's dialogue and narration boxes seem hand-drawn (at least in this particular issue), giving a sense of instability to Henry Henry

  • You may also want to re-read the entire series after finishing this issue. There is so much foreshadowing and subtlety you may not have picked up on the first time.


  • The narrative has so many layers, between the unreliable narrator and the unpredictable story, it can be difficult to keep up with Fearscape's nuances.

  • While I do think Henry's unnecessarily flowery speech is perfect characterization, I felt like that made it hard to follow, sometimes. However, I think this was intentional, especially when considering the previous bullet. Like good magicians, O'Sullivan and Mutti work to distract and misdirect us, keeping us guessing so the ending hits us that much more powerfully.

  • There are things I'm still thinking about and working through as I write this, eager to get it live before the issue drops. Plus, there are other things I don't want to spoil, and talking more about them would do just that. But the idea of a binary that doesn't exist is interesting. And I think I know what to do with that concept in the context of the issue, but I feel like I want to talk it out with other readers. So, feel free to tweet me your thoughts!

Fearscape, Issue #5, page 12, Vault Comics, O'Sullivan/Mutti
Fearscape, Issue #5, page 12, Vault Comics, O'Sullivan/Mutti


FEARSCAPE is the smartest, most mind-bending comic on shelves. It's one of the rare comics that uses the medium uniquely, in a way other media simply cannot, to tell a story that feels new and fresh and different. FEARSCAPE will keep you guessing the entire way through, defying all genres and their conventions. It's a truly singular work of art.


If you like the writing:

  • VOID TRIP by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus

  • The Sandman, Vol. 1 by Gaiman, Kieth, Dringenberg & Jones III

  • The Unwritten, Vol. 1 by Mike Carey & Peter Gross

If you like the art:

  • FEARSCAPE #1-3 by Ryan O'Sullivan & Andrea Mutti

  • Port of Earth, Vol. 1 by Zack Kaplan & Andrea Mutti

  • Swamp Thing, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore & John Totleben


Ryan O'Sullivan – Writer

  • Influenced by Bukowski, Nobokov, Shakespeare, and Hunter S. Thompson

  • Outlander: He’s from Yorkshire, England

  • Part of the White Noise collective with other extremely talented writers

Andrea Mutti – Penciller & Inker

  • Outlander: Currently lives in Italy, and I'm super jealous of this fact

  • In the past, he worked on several detective titles for French publishers

  • His talent for drawing the noir genre definitely translates well to this title

Vladimir Popov – Colorist

  • Dream Team: Also worked with Andrea Mutti on the comic, Control

  • Seems to enjoy working in muted colors

  • Inspired by Moebius, Simon Bisley, Frank Frazetta, Robert Crumb, Alex Raymod, Wally Wood and Don Lawrence (according to

  • Outlander: Lives in Serbia

Deron Bennett (AndWorld Design) – Letterer

  • Founded AndWorld Design, a lettering & design studio

  • Multitalented: Also wrote the comic, Quixote

  • Has a cool video where he talks about why he loves lettering

Adrian F. Wassel – Editor

  • Name Recognition: Is the CCO & Editor In Chief of Vault Comics, and edits Vault's titles

  • Also runs Vault with his brother and father

  • Seems to work very closely and intensely with comic creators when developing stories


FEARSCAPE issue #5 will be released April 24th.

Pre-order issue #5 from your Local Comics Shop.

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 Vault Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Vault Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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