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‘The Horror Show #1-2:’ Comic Book Review

The title of a comic book typically gives away what the reader should expect. The Horror Show (Broken Icon Comics) delivers on the promise of the title in that there is horror. Lots and lots of horror.

The problem with The Horror Show Issues #1 & 2 is that there are enough twists and turns that I can’t really talk about it without spoiling it completely, and I don’t want to use the spoiler warning to tell all and spoil your adventure in the comic, so I’ll tell you what I can. The comic opens up with a familiar, overdone concept: a couple of guys hanging out in a log cabin, sharing stories, and then a group of zombies break through the window. But, shortly into the comic is when the first twist comes and explains all of the previous panels to my total satisfaction. I kept right on turning the pages, wondering where the comic would take me next. Then, I got to that place and that’s precisely where writer James Maddox and artist Todd Beistel blew me away.

The twists are what this comic is all about, and they keep coming through the last page. The writing and storyline are superb in their ability to make you guess what will happen next while slapping the reader with horror at every turn. The pacing of the comic is incredibly fast and quite the rush, which again highlights the brilliant writing by Maddox. When the comic ended, I suffered a slight comic hangover, because I wanted nothing more than for the story to keep going.

The art only adds another layer to the terrifying work. It starts out black and white, but quickly evolves to include splashes of red blood, sometimes a bucket of it. When the second twist to the story comes around and the true horror is released, the red works so well alongside the black-and-white panels, making the blood jump out at the reader. Sometimes, the art and writing is so matter-of-fact that it’s almost humorous, but in a good, campy horror way. There are more than a few panes that still make me gasp and smile with terror at the creature on the page. This is a comic to which I’ll return time and again and always enjoy the art and the tale.

The least horrifying aspect of this comic is the price. The PDF version of Issue #1 is free. If you’re a horror comic fan, you have absolutely no excuse for not checking out Issue #1 of this comic right now for free and then racing to grab Issue #2.

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