New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!
Viral: A Slasher Comic
From the inventive Comixology Submit program (in which indie comic artists submit their comics to the digital publisher) comes this gory little tale from Randolph Gentile. The story centers around Wes Welling, a heavily-bullied kid whose embarrassing internet video went viral. After two years and twenty five million hits, Wes finally begins to snap. The story follows his life and the morbid fantasy comics he draws as he attempts to cope with a world that constantly mocks him.
Bag it or board it up? Forget the fact that this comic is only ninety-nine cents. I'd recommend it even if it cost much more than that. This is a sad story at its core. And the story-within-a-story framing adds to the tension and drama on the page. There's real empathy behind the "hero" (term used loosely) of this story, and we see realistic cause and effect behind the very real problem of bullying. With an eye toward revenge stories, this comic attempts to deal with some pretty heavy stuff. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Eerie No. 4
Dark Horse comics brings us another installment of their "weird science horror." Eerie issue number four delivers plenty of scares in the style of the classic horror and sci-fi anthologies of yesteryear. This issue's theme is "Bad Medicine," and it covers all types of malpractice and malfeasance. In this issue you'll find tales of bad tribal magic, improper psychiatric advice, and plenty of ads for precarious cures and solutions. Just what the doctor ordered!
Bag it or board it up? There's nothing wrong with a good anthology. And Eerie is always chock-full of great horror. Personally, I'm a little nostalgic for an older way of (horror) life. I'm nostalgic for a time when you could turn on the radio and hear a chilling tale, or switch on one of three channels and watch The Twilight Zone, or pick up one of seven different horror comics from your local comic shop. The world looks better through the rose-colored glasses of history, but Eerie helps me experience those old horrors that were snuffed out before I was born.
Wraith No. 2
Last issue we saw a strange, pale man driving an old Wraith around to a Christmas-land. This issue we see a totally different scenario. The year is 1989, and three would-be criminals head to jail in a prison van. When one of them, a sideshow "Geek," gets under one of the skin of one of the guards the van goes astray. Stranded, hurt, and still wanted for their various crimes the group turns to an old friend for help. It's a nasty, thought-provoking little comic this week.
Bag it or board it up? I've been eagerly awaiting the return of Wraith. I don't know when last I actively looked forward to a comic's release, but Joe Hill's new series about a twisted Christmas carnival land hits all the right triggers for me. This issue seemed so different from the last I thought I was reading an off-shoot, but that's okay. When it all ties together in the end I'm all for it. And this is based off of Joe Hill's novel NOS4A2, so it's only natural for the story to wind a bit.
Abe Sapien No. 8
The current world of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. is being chomped up, burnt down, turned around, and generally destroyed by giant monsters that came through cracks in the earth. This issue of Abe Sapien breaks from that storyline to show us an adventure of Abe's from the early eighties. In search of missing divers in a sunken Mayan city of the dead, Abe stumbles upon way more than he bargained for in the swollen depths.
Bag it or board it up? Definitely "bag" this issue. This is classic Mike Mignola fun in a current climate of upheaval and change. It's nice to take a break from the end of the world to focus on smaller stories, and that's just what Abe Sapien should be all about - fun, paranormal adventures that take place all around the globe!