Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
We’re only two issues deep in a five issue run, but Lonely Receiver is, without a doubt, the best comic I’ve read this year.
Lonely Receiver is, as writer Zac Thompson describes, “a horror breakup comic,” which was enough to make me salivate. It’s such a simple pitch, but it isn’t generic or well tread. It’s unique, even at this basic four word level, and it just becomes more and more unique the deeper it goes.
Much of what makes the book unique is to do with line, ink, and color artist, Jen Hickman, who is the perfect person to tell this story. Their line work is perfect at switching between the banal and the terrifying, the covers being a place that shines in particular with the latter, but that banality is somewhere this comic really shines. Doing their own colors elevated the fact that, while the series is clearly of Thompson’s mind, Hickman put themself into every part of it and is wholly embodied in it.
Simon Bowland’s letters are the other essential ingredient in the mix. The choice of caption color in particular is fantastic, both blending in with the colors of the book in general, while standing out by being so bright in contrast with what’s being said.
The three creators put industry-best work on the table, and is on display across every page. While that’s true of many books this year, I think Lonely Receiver feels special because of the way each piece works into each other. In a major way, this comic feels like only the collaboration of these specific creators could come up with it. Add to that the aforementioned uniqueness of the concept, and this proves to be something that I’m happy I chose to be a part of early on.
On the other hand, this is also such a unique book that it makes it somewhat difficult to really talk about without going into specifics, because all of the details of the thing reveal more of what makes it special, and revealing those things means you won’t get to. It’s a tricky line to walk in all reviews, but this one especially, at least in my opinion, because Lonely Receiver does so much that feels fresh, not just in comics, but in entertainment in general. It feels widely applicable without being generic, new and sci-fi but also wise, raw and emotional but still controlled. It’s a work that I think is easy to personalize, and feels relatable in maybe the worst way. It’s something that I don’t think should be missed.
I know the first two issues are already out. I know final order cutoff has passed on issue three. What I’m about to tell you to do goes against all anecdotal knowledge I have on the general reader of monthly comic books. But! Issue #1 is still able to be ordered. Tell your retailer you want it. these are the codes:
- Issue #1: JUL200989
- Issue #2: AUG201090
- Issue #3: SEP201032
You might be able to catch up by the time #3 comes out, and it will absolutely be worth it. If you’re a trade waiter, make sure you look out for this! If you read digitally, catch up! And if you aren’t able to get the first couple of issues, I promise it’s worth it to read on your phone or tablet. I’ve read each issue digitally and in print, and they’re fantastic either way. This is a series that I think anyone can enjoy and get something out of, especially in this spookiest time of year.
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