Writer: Matt Garvey
Illustrator: J Francis Totti
WHAT IS IT?
A survival horror story on a strange planet. And also, maybe a little more?
Imagine Pitch Black but with an electrified palette.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Oliver Geary crash-landed in a stasis pod, far from the others on his ship. With alien beasts hot on his heels, our hero continues the search for his wife and crew, as well as a reliable way off this savage planet.
Even if he's able to escape the beasts, there are things more dangerous lurking. Will he find his partner and his crew? Or will he stumble upon something more sinister? With claws that rend and a maw hungry for fresh meat?
The only way he'll find out is to keep searching. The only way out is through.
...if he gets that far.
Garvey and Totti's pacing continues to work magic in this issue, the quiet moments stacking atop one another, building the terror. Oliver's narration is a weak light amidst the darkness, enough to keep you pushing forward, but not to stave off the horrors that await in the shadows just beyond.
The two creators work so well together; you can tell they're simpatico, aligned with how they want to tell the story, working in lock-step. Some comics, you can tell when a writer and an artist don't work as closely, or don't trust one another to convey the necessary information. Prey for Us works so well because that partnership is solid.
Here's an example of the above: Garvey lets Totti’s art do all the talking in some scenes, and it WORKS. This is a quiet book, as far as dialogue is concerned. Often, it’s mostly captions driving the narrative forward and giving it a flair for the dramatic. I mean, sure, our hero is in very real danger, and he has a right to be dramatic. But the tone of this book would be very different without his captions, so you can tell the effect is there. Matt Garvey's restraint on his part shows skill. It's easy to fill the page with dialogue and descriptions, but much harder to give the reader just enough to play on their fear and emotions.
Totti's art is jagged and visceral, perfect for the setting: a primal planet with crash-landed, time-worn technology.
As far as colors, go, Totti’s palette vacillates between the kind of darkness commonly found in science fiction horror and electric neons. It works so well to give this book its unique character.
So many sound effects are worked into the art, and I wish more comics would do that. In one scene, the effects get intertwined with the alien beasts’ legs as they run. In several other panels, like one on the page below, the sound effect is the star, setting the stage for things to come or acting as the focal point in the scene.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
The issues I had with the previous issue are all gone in issue #2. Really, the only note I have is that the bloody, gory violence and sheer levels of terror might not be for all audiences.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
If this comic doesn’t make you say “Oh, $#*%,” you’re reading it wrong.
Just when you think you know what's going to happen, a fresh horror is just around the corner.
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?
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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 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