I never imagined I’d ever read a horror comic that could incorporate monsters, ghosts, UFOs, and other creepy crawly elements into a comic as well as Kyle Starks and Artyom Topilin’s I Hate This Place. The story itself, up until now, has been bizarre and unpredictable and filled with many WTF moments. That being said, the storytelling that Kyle Starks and Artyom Topilin have told so far is humorous and engaging and gets you invested in whether Gabby Rutherford and her wife Trudy will make it out of this series in one piece.
Shit continues to hit the proverbial fan in I Hate This Place #3. The first issue introduced us to Gabby Rutherford, a woman who inherits a small ranch from her great aunt Marilyn. Not even 24 hours after being on the property, Gabby and her wife Trudy quickly realize that some family legacies shouldn’t be passed down as the grounds surrounding the ranch are haunted by an unforeseen evil. An old videotape with a message from Aunt Marilyn laid out three important rules to follow to survive: Don’t let a ghost touch you, never go into the woods, and run like hell if you see a horned man.
I Hate This Place #3 introduces us to Dante Howitzer, a third-generation ghost hunter hired by Gabby and Trudy to eliminate their ghost problem. After spending a night in Gabby and Trudy’s place, Dante thinks he’s more than ready to take on the spirits. Dante’s tough, overconfident, and does one of the dumbest things imaginable: He enters the woods.
Issue #3 is the best installment yet and puts Gabby and Trudy farther into danger, thanks to Dante Howitzer. What you’ll love most about reading this issue is that it combines elements of terror and comedy. Dante Howitzer seems like a guy who knows what he’s doing, but when moments arrive for him to prove himself, things tend to go heavily in the opposite direction, which makes for some hilarious and scary moments. In addition, from a character standpoint, we can see that Gabby and Trudy so far are not going to abide by Gabby’s Aunt’s rule and try desperately to find a way out of their daunting situation.
Artyom Topilin has brought his A game to this series, and issue #3 is a shining example. When ghosts show up, the book feels eerie. When Dante shows up, you’ll laugh, and Topilin’s imagery leaves its mark on the readers. Some of Topilin’s best panel moments happen once Gabby, Trudy and Dante enter the woods, and the illustrations effectively impact the storytelling. Lee Loughridge adds an impressive array of color choices, and the red he uses during Dante’s flashback gives the book some awesome Creepshow vibes.
I Hate This Place #3 is another win for the Starks, Topilin, Loughridge, and Brosseau team. The pacing is on point, each page leaves you wanting more, and the book is a quick and fun read overall. If you’re not already reading this series and love horror comics, pick it up today.
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