Filed under: Comic Reviews, Image Comics | Tags: American Vampie, Attila Funaki, image, Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, Severed
As you’ll have noticed from my recent reviews of Batman #1 & #2, I’ve become a bit of a fan of Scott Snyder of late. His work on pre-DCnew52 Detective Comics and Gates of Gotham was some of the best Batman writing I’ve seen in a long while, and his current performance on DCNew52 Batman is stellar. So in a bid to discover more of his work, I thought I’d pick up his relatively new Severed books to make sure that it wasn’t just a fluke.
And guess what? He’s not a one trick Bat-Pony! OK, I’ll stop with the Bat-references now, because Severed is as far removed from Gotham City as it possibly could be. This is a classic horror tale told by Snyder and Scott Tuft, with Attila Futaki on art duties. I initially picked up the second printing of the first issue to test the waters and then scrambled to get hold of #2 and #3 as quickly as possible to see where this story was going.
The tale takes place in America during 1916, where young Jack Garron decides to run away from home in search of his real Father, a travelling musician. Jack soon realises how tough life on the road is, but is helped along by his new found friend Sam, a fellow runaway. Running parallel to this is another plot about missing orphans and a disturbing tattooed cannibal man going by the name of Mr Porter. It’s here that the real horror real lies, nicely balanced by the almost “buddy-movie” aspect of the Jack & Sam tale, but with the knowledge that the two plots will soon collide.
So far this has been a slow burn comic, but in a good way – it’s not prepared to give away all its best scares all at once, but instead provides us a few chilling moments to keep the suspense going. The pace is excellent, and as with Snyder’s other work, you’re left hanging on every piece of dialogue – nothing is said for the sake of it and every word is important.
The book has a very authentic feel to it, adding to the suspense held throughout each book. The artwork perfectly captures the setting, almost as if you’re watching a grimy old horror movie. There’s no need for fancy panel work here, instead favouring good the old box after box technique, keeping with the old fashion feeling.
Where most weeks my comic stack is filled mainly with costumed superheroes, this book is a great relief and reminder that comics don’t need to be about spandex. I’ll be making sure to check out American Vampire, another horror period piece from Snyder, so check back in a while where I’m sure to sing its praises too.
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