Horrere #1 Review

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Published by : Madius Comics & Little O

Written by : Rob Jones @robjoneswrites
&
Michael Sambrook @rapiaghi

Cover by: Alisdair Wood @alisdair_wood

Back cover by : Ian McQue @Ianmcque

Art by: Neil Ford @Neil_Ford

Gareth Sleighthome @hesir

Al McLaughlan @Al_mclaughlan

Alisdair Wood @alisdair_wood

From Little O Productions and Madius Comics comes “Horrere” #01… A British Horror Anthology which looks to scare the wits right out of you. From the warped and twisted minds of Alisdair Wood, Rob Jones and Mike Sambrook come four tales of terror, creepiness and intrigue, as with the help of art shamans Neil Ford, Al McLauchlan, Gareth Sleightholme and Ian McQue, they look to take you on a terrifying journey into parts unknown.

Inside this necronomicon of new wave horror are four stories to bend your mind…

“If you go down to the woods today” Written by Jones/Sambrook and with art by Neil Ford, we see what happens when a child comes face to face with the Bigfoot. In “the Aufhoecker”, we follow a professor who may be walking into his final class. In “You are what you eat” we finally answer the question of how do zombies taste & finally, in the first part of an ongoing story, we take you into the world of “Grimoire” as we follow Melissa Finnigan in the search for her father’s killer. Along with the help of Detective Ben Morton, Fin and Ben will discover a world they never thought existed and will find themselves plunged into a tale of abject…HORRERE…

From the minds of Jones/Sambrook, the writers of Madius Comics’ Papercuts and Inkstains, Ramlock Investigates and other absurdities and Alisdair Wood, creator of Beagle, and featuring the artistic talents of Sleightholme, Ford,  McLauchlan and McQue; Horrere is a slice of classic British Horror Comics straight from the mortuary table. Horrere is a joint production between Little O Productions and Madius Comics.

I’m not that experienced in the genre of horror comics, mainly because they aren’t a genre that come across my radar all that often. Which is strange because I’m a massive horror movie and book buff. I’ve been a fan of Stephen King since I was 14 years old and read IT to try and impress a girl I liked. I think it’s difficult to create a scary atmosphere in comics because we are so used to the gore and tricks employed by movies to freak us out. Horerre #1 really manages to be creepy.

First off the bat I need to talk about the overall quality of the art in this issue. It’s absolutely top drawer. Every single one of the stories line art is absolutely stunning. it’s a beautifully drawn book, no matter which one of the artists styles you look at in this they are of the same outstanding level.

The first Story “If you go down to the woods today” with art by Neil Ford is a great little story, that Illustrates that no matter what horrors are in the world, sometimes it’s mankind that are the real monsters. A tight little script, short, efficient with no fat on it’s bones is served perfectly by Ford’s brilliant layouts and heavy use of blacks and shadows to fantastic effect.

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Aufhocker” The second story with art by Al McLaughlan made me so angry I wanted throw my PC out the window.  McLaughlin’s art is so good on this, his style reminds me of D’Israeli ‘s work on Stickleback from 2000AD beautiful use of perspective and lighting effects and the grey tone colouring is perfect. What made me so angry? It’s too short. The art is wasted. So is the eponymous monster. The story is really just a vehicle for a gag in the final panel. While it’s a good one this story could have been so much more. I want to make clear I enjoyed it for what it is, but I was left with such a feeling of wanting more. Please don’t this be the last we see of this fantastic idea.

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The third story “You are what you eat” really impressed. Gareth Sleightholme packs a hell of a lot into his panels. The details in the line work are jaw dropping and the panel layouts are just great on this, especially the scene showing the factory process. and the daily commute to work colouring here is excellent, if anything I think this story might be better using grey tones than if it was in actual colour. Final full page panel on this is a delight as well. The script idea is great. Just what do the survivors of a zombie apocalypse eat. Great punchy dialogue and I would like to see more books set in this world.

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The final story Grimoire: Baby Bell Jar is part of an ongoing story and I’m really glad that is. It’s a great collaborative piece by Jones Sambrook & Wood. Alisdair Wood’s realistic line work here is ace, especially the beautifully drawn american muscle car and his buildings.

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His character work though is what makes this piece really shine. Genuinely creepy, especially the titular Baby in the Bell Jar. Something inherently horrifying about carnies & circuses and Jones and Sambrook have grabbed hold of that uneasiness and weaved a really gripping and intelligent story around it. Great cliff hanger at the end and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.photo

Production values on the book are as high as I have now come to expect from Madius.  Lettering is great the whole way through, although the gothic font choice  for Aufhocker made it a little difficult to read without zooming in , that really is a minor niggle.

Alisdair Wood’s cover is excellent reminiscent of 1940’s Pulp horror comics. Special mention has to go to the back cover by Ian McQue. What a coup it is to get such a fantastic piece of work from an artist of his standard.photo

Even if you have never read a horror comic in your life, or not a fan of the genre I would still recommend picking this up.  The same level of high calibre writing I now expect from Sambrook & Jones with art that would not be out of place in and in some places far exceeding the quality from more established comic books like 2000AD.

Horrere  Issue #01 is available from November 14th at Thoughtbubble Sequential Arts Festival in Leeds in the New Dock Hall and after that, you can purchase copies from: http://www.horrere.zone/

Horrere #1 Review
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