The Nightmare Factory
This graphic novel, based on the short stories of writer Thomas Ligotti, has a dark and uneasy presence to it. Four short stories written by four very different artists make up this collection of fear. The stories themselves can be convoluted at times, as the writers choose to wax poetic when they could just explain the terror that is gripping their characters. The artwork is brilliant, with artists as varied as Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) and Colleen Doran (Spiderman) filling the atmosphere on the pages with thick, palpable fear. These comics are very much like the films of David Lynch, full of eerie atmosphere and generally evoking unease, while having nothing tangible to point toward as the source of the terror. So overall, the stories are strange and at times hard to follow, but the artwork picks up where the narrative slacks.
The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning
This comic gripped my attention with the cover art, but unfortunately the story and artwork inside let that tight grip slack. The story involves how the cannibals of Craven?s horror classic came to be, including before the nuclear testing, soon afterwards, and how the mutants were born. All of it is fairly interesting, but nothing here is so original that you couldn?t have thought of it yourself. The artwork inside is very simple, and at times totally boring. Considering that this is not a collection of comics spun into a graphic novel, but one cohesive thought, the artwork looks very simple. Sure, they?ve got all the guts you could want, but most of the kills look like ideas Craven said ?eh?never mind? to. Basically, imagine how the Sawney Bean clan could have become so murderous, then get your friend who can kinda draw to illustrate your descriptions, and you?ve got The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning.
28 Days Later: The Aftermath
This comic, from Fox Atomic, has a lot going for it. Firstly, it?s said to bridge the gap between 28 Days and 28 Weeks, secondly, it?s written by famed horror comic writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), third, some of the best artists in the business contributed to the comic. What does this comic do with all of this positive momentum? It makes a damn good comic, that?s what! 28 Days Later: The Aftermath is a great comic read, an incredible horror comic read, and a dream come true for die hard 28 fans. The comic is composed of four short stories, each one taking a time period from the film. The first story explains the origins of the virus, and starts before the outbreak. The second story explains how the virus spread, complete with graphic monkey attack! The third is set during the time of the film, and has one assassin of the infected battling another assassin of the infected in a derelict London. Finally, the fourth story bridges the gap between Days and Weeks. The only complaint I have is that I wish these stories were a bit longer, especially the third story. If you?re a fan of either of the two films, run to the store for this one, if you?re a fan of good storytelling and beautiful artwork?well, run with the 28 fans.
So that sums up the comics for this week, Puzzling, Boring, Astounding?in that order. If you?re a fan of beautiful artwork, check out Nightmare Factory. If you?re a fan of 28 Days Later, check out Aftermath. If you?re a fan of The Hills Have Eyes, flip through The Beginning?but don?t say I didn?t warn you.