You feel that crisp air? The faint change of the leaves? Fall is coming, which means we’re in store for some creepy tales to capture the chill of the night. We check out a new indie comic out on Comixology and available here right now. Question is, is it good?
So what’s it about? Check out our full preview to find out.
Why does this book matter?
Well, writer Marguerite Bennett has written a fair share of comics over at DC and knows a thing or two about well paced and solid storytelling. Meanwhile, artist Varga Tomi has been coloring for IDW (The Shrinking Man was a good book) and Kevin Eastman (if you like grindhouse comics read Fistful of Blood) and knows his way around a comic book.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This book breaks down into three separate stories, one of which was originally published in the Broken Frontier Anthology. Each story centers on a different time and place and that helps to make this book feel wordly. The first appears to be taking place in a long ago Japan when shoguns and samurai were a thing, the second in modern day Alaska, and the third during the bootlegging days in Appalachia. Each story differs in the type of horror present, but each is very good at feeling uneasy as well as getting inside the characters heads via captions.
The first story feels like one you’d see in Jim Henson’s Storyteller as it has a story book feel with a fairy tale-esque story. The fairy tale quickly ends however, and has a clever use of koi fish I won’t reveal for fear of spoiling the story. Fascinatingly, the narrative ends in a fairy tale like way which only serves to make the story feel magical, but slightly twisted. Ghastly Tales is primarily dark in tone with heavy inks, but makes good use of color to bring out the joy that’s soon to be crushed.
This story has a fairy tale feel.
The second story is practically grey in color, with some shades of white and light blues continuing the dismal sort of feel. The tale is captioned in a poetic way as the ranger character attempts to help her town. It’s sad, depressing, and ends with with a whopper of a full page splash. Tomi outdid himself with the…mountain of dread.
The third and final story uses another color palette entirely (no wonder Tomi is a colorist) using a somewhat sickly yellow. Bennett does a good job establishing the bootleggers’ current plight, setting you up for a twist that brings a bit of that horror gore some of us love. This one seems to suggest something about humanity and survival, which is easy to relate to and yet captures the horrors people are capable of.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The second story certainly has poetic captions, but I found myself getting lost as far as the point and purpose of the story. It ends in an interesting and wild way, but I can’t tell what was happening.
What is it!?
Is It Good?
Ghastly Tales is essentially an anthology single issue good for three different stories that capture different ways human beings can be horrific; horror fans should love it. The variety of each story, and how deftly each is told and drawn, makes this well worth a scare or two during the Allhallowtide season.
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