Review: Benedict Barlow and the Curse of Rotwood #1

I think it’s safe to say that this story is a comedy with horror/supernatural elements. Either that or I’m really fucked up because I was laughing quite a bit at this story. It begins with a dark ritual that involves tying 12 babies (six boys and six girls) to a tree and killing them. That’s not the funny part… okay it’s a little funny because babies? Really? After the ritual is done we see the tree that was at the center of the baby killing true and its strange acorns. A guy wandering through the woods comes across it and when he gets near it the acorns explode and cover him in blood.

Thirty miles away we meet Benedict Barlow as he suspects a mountain Chupacabra in the area (which is unrelated to the main story at the moment). It’s clear that Barlow is a supernatural hunter and right now he’s bored. His assistant Timothy takes offense to Barlow looking for danger after the sacrifices of their last adventure. Barlow throttles back and says he’ll wait for more info before chasing the mountain Chupacabra.  Back in the forest Barlow’s wish for danger is coming true as our blood soaked dude transforms into a monster.

Barlow and the monster really steal the show. Barlow is quick with his tongue and one of those characters that’s too smart for their own good, but you can’t help but like him even if it’s just to read the next crazy unfiltered thing to come out of his mouth.

TBenedict Barlow and the Curse of Rotwood-1he monster goes to town on killing and that’s what makes him awesome. He comes across this house and the guy tells him to “shut the hell up” because he’s a noisy ass monster. The guy doesn’t know he’s an actual monster so he gets killed, but just his interaction with the creature was funny.

The art played a lot into that scene as the monster punches the dudes head smooth off. I laughed and laughed and re-read it again to laugh some more. I know that’s sick, but it was so damn funny seeing this guy tell a monster to shut the hell up and then getting his head punched off. Otherwise the art does a good job of telling the story and making all the dialogue interesting. It’s very detailed and has a nice look.

The coloring sets the tone and mood for the story. Overall it’s flat and earthy, but that matches the forest driven story. Something about the muted tones made the story feel as if it were set in the real world.

The writing is very funny when it’s on. There’s some dialogue that came across as filler, but it also helped control the pace of the story. I don’t really have a feel for the character yet, they’re just archetypes at the moment, but that works. Hopefully as the story goes on it’ll develop them more and we’ll get a better idea on why Barlow is the way he is.

I was surprised by this story. I thought it was going to be all doom and gloom based on the name and cover, but instead I was treated to a tale that’s over the top and knows it. If it didn’t then this story wouldn’t nearly be as successful as it is.

Score: 4/5

Writer/Artist/Inker: Seth Coleman Colorist: Steph Coleman Price: $0.99 Website