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©2018 by Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti. 

  • Matt Ligeti

PREY FOR US, ISSUE #1

Writer: Matt Garvey

Illustrator: J Francis Totti

Publisher: Self-published

Prey For Us, issue #1, cover, self-published, Garvey/Totti

WHAT IS IT?

A survival horror story on a strange planet.


It's Pitch Black but lime green.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

(Minor Spoilers)

Oliver Geary crash-landed in a stasis pod, far from the others on his ship. He wakes up on a strange planet with little gear and night falling fast.


He has no idea if his crew mates (including the love of his life) survived, but he has a lead on how he might be able to find them.


The hardest part won't be the long trek there, however.


The hardest part will be surviving the journey.

WHAT WORKS?

  • So much of Prey For Us works because of silence and pacing. Horror is hard in a comics medium. In TV and film, you have sound and music. You have jump scares. People can't accidentally catch a glimpse of a later panel on that same page and ruin a surprise. Garvey & Totti work together to tell the story of a single, lonely person. I'll break up some examples over the next few bullets (which I can't indent because Wix is weird?):

  • The slow realization over several descending panels that he's all alone, separated from his love, who may be dead.

  • The silence underlining how terrifyingly alone he is

  • The build-up to a page-turn and the reveal after that page-turn

  • The jumping zoom of three panels onto the crashed stasis pod (shown below) immediately grounds you as to what kind of story this is: sci-fi survival/horror on an alien planet.

  • A palette of electric blues and the hard lime green scream "alien world." They're aggressive, harsh, and seeing our protagonist trudge into it virtually naked does not bode well for his safety. The rare red seems blistering-hot, foreign, terrifying in how alien it seems against the blues and greens.

  • Because Oliver is all alone, there's not much dialogue except for the rare comment he makes to himself. Rather than raving to himself like an unhinged psychopath or relying on thoughts or solely the action to carry the story, the first-person narration uses captions Oliver records in his log. Even then, there's little dialogue. Not only does it keep pages neat and all the elements rectangular and tidy, it (again) elevates the mounting terror of how alone and vulnerable he is.

  • Discussion with his computer and context clues cleverly fill in any blanks in the story.

  • The sound effects are scratchy and savage, which feels right on a primal, alien planet.

  • The dual-meaning of the title works well to set the tone: It sounds like "Pray for us," meaning the good guys need all the help they can get. But the spelling shifts the owners of the "Us" to the monstrous villains. The good guys are their prey.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK?

  • So far, the cover is misleading, as there is no evidence of zombie-ish creatures.

  • If you're looking for a super-new concept, you might not find it here. This feels more like a "best-of" combination of space-themed survival horror. That being said, it seems pretty scary and well done so far, so I wouldn't count it out before checking it out.

  • There's one place where the dialogue uses “instantly” 3 times in only a few panels. It doesn't seem intentional, like it's playing at parallelism or like there was any deeper reason behind it. Personally, it took me out of it, but that’s might just be a "me" thing.


Prey For Us, issue #1, page 3, self-published, Garvey/Totti

WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

I've said it before in this review, but if you're a fan of survival horror in space, I think you'll love Prey For Us.


This first issue sets up what promises to be an absolutely terrifying, gripping comic.

WHAT DO I READ NEXT?

If you like the writing:

  • The Ether by Matt Garvey & Dizevez

  • Road of Bones by Rich Douek & Alex Cormack

  • Manifest Destiny by Chris Dingess, Owen Gieni & Matthew Roberts

If you like the art:

  • Our Land by Matt Fitch, Chris Baker & J Francis Totti

  • Mary Shelley: Monster Hunter by Olivia Cuartero-Briggs, Adam Glass & Hayden Sherman

  • The Unsound by Cullen Bunn & Jack T. Cole

ABOUT THE CREATORS

Matt Garvey – Writer

  • Often puts the first issue of his comics up for free. Keep an eye on his Twitter for when this happens!

  • Most of his comics fall more on the serious side, but this one establishes Matt Garvey as a talented writer of comedy, too.

  • Outlander: Lives in the U.K.

J Francis Totti – Artist

  • Got flatting assistance from Roberto Cloma for this issue

  • Outlander: Hails from Liverpool

  • Seems to gravitate toward bright, bold colors



HOW DO I BUY IT?

Click one of these:

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 Matt Garvey & J Francis Totti characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Matt Garvey & J Francis Totti or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

#Selfpublished #MidweekMadness #Indie #Garvey #Totti #Survival #Horror #Space #SciFi #Outlander