Well it took me a little longer than I would have liked, but I’m back with a review for Deadhorse #2. Let me start off by saying that I love the cover and that this particular cover is what got me really excited to read the series. There is something creepy and awesome about the family portrait with bird heads and the woman’s hidden face. Both issue one and two have very strong cover designs which match the book perfectly. The first issue of Deadhorse scored some pretty high marks, so how did the second issue stack up? The issue opens with a very serious looking man standing in front of his office window. He’s Senator Robert Gadsworth and he’s expecting a call from his father, unfortunately for him it’s just his secretary. She wishes him happy birthday on his father’s behalf, while Robert doses off remembering a hand puppet that was giving to him by a Mr. Pike.
Elsewhere in Alaska, a young girl is leaving home. Well that’s not 100% right, she’s running away from home and really her parents don’t care. Her name is Elise and she makes it to the bus stop to leave town. While waiting for the bus to arrive a chatterbox named Edgar sits down next to her and begins chatting her ear off. Their conversation is cut short as the Mr. Pike we’re familiar with (probably the son of the other Mr. Pike), enters the bus stop. In the background we see the Senator at a press meeting playing with the puppet from his childhood. As Mr. Pike and our two new characters leave to board the bus the Senator pulls out a gun and kills himself on live TV.
I could really go on some more about the story, but I think I’ll stop right there. There’s another great character introduced in the issue that is hilarious and cool rolled into one. I still can’t believe that this book wasn’t picked up by Image or some other indie company because it really deserves a widespread release. According to writer/co-creator Eric Grissom, they want to do a print version after the first story arc is done so help with the sales. I really hope they do because I would love to own a physical copy of this book.
Grissom has me hooked with his writing. I love the serious tone of the book mixed with the dark comedy elements. The new character comes across Venture Brothers inspired which is a real treat. Grissom adds a few characters with this issue, but they were so interesting that I almost didn’t want to get back to the main story. Hopefully they’ll play a role in the plot so that they can develop more.
I still absolutely love the art style of this book; re-reading it for review made me appreciate the art even more. The opening page with the Senator in his office is the best example of the strength of the art. There are large mini-blinds in the window and artist Phil Sloan gives the scene a consistency by having the direction of light cast a shadow on the room and Senator. But what’s impressive is that the shades are lighter on the Senator while being much darker on the rest of the room. It’s probably something you’ve witnessed in real life or movies a dozen or more times and never realized. But Sloan has taken this very simple lighting and made it so real that it’s just as important to the scene as the character is. Also I still love the edgy cartoon look the book has and that will never change.
I could continue to gush about this book, but I won’t. I will demand that you either pull up Graphicly on your tablet or smart phone and plop down the dollar it costs for the issue, or head over to Eric and Phil’s site Deadhorse.com and purchase it directly from them. Whichever way you choose just do it. The third issue isn’t out yet, but when it is you can bet your ass I’ll be there to read it and every issue after.
Writer: Eric Grissom Artist: Phil Sloan Publisher: Deadhorse Comics Price: $ 3.99