Thursday, January 24, 2008

Review: The Evil Inside # 1

Here's another one I've had around for a little while to review, mostly waiting for the changeover to the new website. Long time HCR readers will know that I am a huge fan of the anthology format in horror comics. The anthology was my first exposure to horror in the comic medium, and the style remains an addiction which I cannot shake. So, let's dive in to this b&w offering, shall we?!

The first tale is "Southern Hospitality" and is written by Bart A. Thompson (in fact, he penned all three installments) and illustrated by Paul Schultz. I usually don't give away anthology story endings, and I won't start now. Quick summary: travelers cross paths with what looks like an inbred country clan, but all is not as it would initially appear. Decent enough stuff. Bart describes this as his best horror story, but I'm not sure I'd agree with that statement. Don't get me wrong, it is not bad writing, but after reading the entire issue I think that at least the second story stacks up equally.

That second story is "Word is Bond," is illustrated by Jake Sumbing, and revolves around the play on spelling between the words Santa and Satan. After reading this one, you'll think twice about telling Santa Claus what you really want for Christmas! Nice!

The third and final chapter is "Fox in the Henhouse" and sports art by Giovanni P. Timpano. It's the shortest of all three stories, and is about a convenience store robbery gone supernaturally awry. There is a little confusion with the flow of the tale, but it is adequately clarified in the last couple panels.

All in all, the writing is good enough and gives the anthology addict like myself three quick, satisfying hits. The weakness of this issue certainly lies in the artwork. Schultz and Sumbing have a much too cartoonish style for my taste, and with Schultz there is a muddiness which causes problems with character differentiation and leads to overall flow problems. Timpano gives hands down the best, cleanest overall art job. However, he would have been better to have taken advantage of the b&w medium and applied more detail to his work in order to showcase his sharp lines. Anyway, I look forward to future issues of this title!

$3.50 from http://www.approbationcomics.com/