If you ask me, Steve Niles should be writing five horror series a month, but I’ll take this latest one from Image Comics if that’s all I can get. The first issue of Winnebago Graveyard revealed a small town in the middle of nowhere has some Satanists doing bad things in the cover of the night. The fact that the main characters are a small family spells bad news for where this story could be going!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Pursued by cultists, Christine, Dan, and Bobby must run through the night to stay alive.
Why does this book matter?
We spoke to Alison Sampson about her work on this title and we recommend reading her thoughts. To say it’s an expressive and sometimes trippy art style is an understatement. It’s the kind of art that can be unnerving even when depicting something happy. This issue aims to really throw you for a loop too!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens where the last one left off and it’s quite a tense situation. The family comprised of a dad, mom, and son is wandering into a town that’s missing people. It’s a strange situation made stranger as their winnebago was stolen. They soon encounter a police officer who is no help and must make do with making the best of a bad situation. Niles does a good job laying the strangeness of the townsfolk the family comes across on very thick. Something very peculiar is going on and Niles makes that uneasy feeling linger and resonate strongly. You might not be screaming in horror, but you’ll get a tense feeling you’d feel in the opening scenes of a horror flick before the real s--t hits the fan.
What an opening page.
Sampson has a style that suits this story very well and you’ll get that haunting feeling right off the bat with a warped full page spread (see above) that’s like something you’d experience while on drugs. Faces are strange and awkward, from the family to the townsfolk to the Satanists. There’s no carnival in this issue like the last issue, but there’s still a funhouse mirror aspect to the imagery to remind readers what we’re seeing is not right. What’s interesting is some of the imagery in this book isn’t supposed to be taken literally–I think anyway–but it is supposed to creep the reader out. The sky in one full page spread, for instance, is red with swirls and strangeness and it’s almost falling onto the characters. Now, maybe the sky is supposed to be red–these are Satanists chasing the characters after all–but Sampson is certainly adding extra weirdness to imbue a sense of terror but not necessarily represent what is going on.
Do not trust this dude.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s a brisk read with the story ending before you know it. There are essays in the back of the book that add value, but if you’re just here for comic storytelling the comic ends pretty quick.
While I love most of the art, I wasn’t a fan of a creature that pops up in the book. It’s not rendered with much detail and looks almost as if it’s wearing a mask rather than it being its face.
Is It Good?
There are different types of horror comics out there, but this might be the only one that transports you into a funhouse mirror and has you falling in desperation for every page. It’s creepy and haunting with images that’ll stay with you in the best/worst of ways.