Shock Shop #1
Cullen Bunn (Harrow County), Danny Luckert (Regression), and Leila Leiz (The Last Book You'll Ever Read) present a brand-new horror anthology flip comic taking place in a haunted comic book shop with a twisted retailer filled with tales of terror sure to leave you with the lights on. In Familiars: After a painful divorce, Trevor rents a house and tries to rebuild his life. Soon, he discovers that his house appears to be 'haunted' by more than one spirit and the creatures begin feeding on Trevor's feelings of anger and guilt. In Something in the Woods, In the Dark: A husband and wife going through a tough time go on a camping trip with a few friends. As they trek further into the forest, they realize that they are being stalked. Something in the woods starts killing the camper and it may have ties to the camper's more than any of them realize.
The Shock Shop anthology promises a lot of fun, and a lot of scares, but it left me unsatisfied, wanting for a lot more that what it offered.
Let me start by saying, the hostess, Desdemona, started out with a lot of potential. She pulls you into her “Shick Shop ,”and It actually feels like you are in there, browsing the store. She sets up a great atmosphere for the reader, and I was eager to hear the stories, but we did not get to see her interact with the stories apart from simply introducing them, and then vanishing from the pages. I was hoping for something more interactive, perhaps her picking up an object in the shop, and narrating the “story” behind it, but unfortunately that was not the case. By the time we got to the second story her ‘welcome to the shop’ felt almost like an NPC, not even a “welcome back,” which would have been more apt in my opinion, as it would imply that the reader was back for more..
But my main issue, and I will be keeping an eye on how it pans out, is the issue of how short the stories were. Two extremely short chapters, in 32 pages, did not leave much room for me to get to really know anyone, and the action seem to come in too soon, without letting any tension or fear ready marinate.
This is an issue with both stories. In “Something in the Woods, in the Dark we immediately find out (or do we?) who the monster is, as we see it in action way too soon. It would have been nicer to have been “left in the dark” for a bit longer, let the tensions rise, and to leave the reader feeling a bit unsettled. It is a horror anthology after all.
I do also have a minor complaint about the nudity in this story, which I felt was a bit unnecessary? Maybe this issue is one which will bother me more that others, but I personally am a bit tired of seeing naked people where they do not need to be drawn in such a way? They can be covered in mud or grime, blood even, have torn clothes, etc., but I don’t understand why its almost always women who seem to end up naked on our pages. And it is not like this is something which cannot be done. I have read other horror comics where women in similar situations have not been rendered overly exposed like this, so, the situation is not a great excuse for me.
The second story, Familiars, is slightly better, in that it does let the tension settle a bit more, and we are left to wonder what exactly is going on, right up until the last panel, which left me with a lot more questions, which I am looking forward to being answered.
The artwork for other stories is beautiful, though I did find myself leaning more towards the second story. Leila Leiz and Bill Crabtee’s work was striking in the best ways. The contrast of the green and the blue with the blocks of red was a great way to show that something sinister is going on, with a truly ‘big’ reveal at the end.
I liked the stories, and the direction they seem to be going in, but I did feel like I did not get to spend nearly enough time with them to create any real tension. As of now, I do that care too much about the characters, but I am hoping that will change with the next issue. I wont be giving up on this one just as yet.
Shock Shop #1 On the Hunt for a Good Story
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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