Once again it’s on Comics in Color. Week 6 is in full effect and this time I’m bringing you something from the darker side of the street. Here cosmic terror looms just beyond concrete in the ghetto of the mind, where killers come back to catch bodies from beyond the grave and madness lurks in every alleyway. Tonight, folks, we’re bringing you Comics in Color: Horror in the Hood Edition
Diskordia: Feels like Falling #1
(Andrew Blackman) This story starts with our main character, Jackal — a strange youth with odd dreadlocks and a callous deanor — purchasing a prescription from his local street pharmacist. These meds will serve to quiet the “chicken voices” in his head which are playing like the music to the background of his thoughts. After the obligatory beat down from school bullies that comes with the dyed hair and plaid pants life, he alienates a young woman named Penelope who attpts to be a balm in his strange world of narcotics and routine bullying. After insulting his way up the school’s chain of command, Jackal takes a much-needed trip to the bathroom, where he is confronted by a strange young woman and becomes privy to a murder. After that a number of strange occurrences lead him to an island on a sea of blood ruled by a naked girl with an octopus on her head, thus concluding issue one.
I appreciate this comic’s attempt at psychological horror on a wide scale, where the audience is led to question the protagonist’s sanity but can’t discount the idea that the mindbending events he may have experienced have led him to his starting point in the story. I loved that Jackal was British among American teenagers but never seemed out of place. His “crazy guy” dialogue with his tormentors, as well as his narration of the scenario, was priceless. While the art worked well enough for the story, it could have been better, or at least more polished in certain sections; for example, Jackal’s opening sequence with Squid Girl looked fine, but as the walls of reality began to crumble in the later portions, the art quality seed to wane a bit.
I’ll admit that the scariest portion of the story is imagining yourself in Jackal’s position, losing your sanity — something I myself have feared for a long time. The murder was less terrifying and the other scary tropes only seed to serve as a larger indicator for mental decay. I enjoyed this comic and will enjoy seeing what becomes of our main characters and their minds in future stories. You can pick Diskordia up at Comixology.
Leave on the Light #1
(Bradley Golden / Tolen Tino / Chris Allen) I’ve been reading Second Sight Comics for several months, since I found out their main genre was horror. Some of their titles need work in the art department but they always se to craft pretty terrifying scenarios.
Leave on the Light #1 starts out with a little girl and her mother being butchered by a large man with tattoos, then jumps to Detective Marshall who has encountered this style of brutal murder before. The killer was executed months prior, so either there is a copycat killer or the original is killing from beyond the grave. The last panel of this issue is a cliffhanger, to be sure, and unlike in some horror stories where we know that several people are off the chopping block, everyone might be fair game here. This is the best installment I have read by Second Sight since I discovered them. The art is crisp, professional and scary, while the tone rinded me of True Detective meets Homicide: Life on the Street. That’s a tone which was set perfectly by the characters’ no-nonsense and on-edge dialogue.
The only problem I have with this comic is the pacing, I feel things could have been worked a little slower so we could get a feel for Marshall’s history and why a seemingly hardboiled cop would be so shaken by the type of murder he’s seen before. Our ghostly killer looks frightening enough but a little too much like what people would make up as the description for a serial killer of this kind instead of something new and innovative. That brings me to the last problem I have with this issue. If the killer’s face had not been shown, the horror element of the story could be drawn out further; therefore, it could be anyone and thus would be unknown. Using this technique, the story may have taken on a more sinister and frightening turn in a medium where it’s hard to frighten people.
The last page left me in a state of suspense since it’s not clear which characters are important to story progression, besides Marshall himself. Issue two of this needs to be out soon so I can find out who gets butchered next. Check out Second Sight Studios for more details on its release.