All I knew going into Deadskins was that the cover was awesome and I had a good feeling about it because of the company it keeps. Fried Comics impressed me in a big way this week with not one, but two titles priced at just a dollar. Not only that, but you can read half of the issue for free if you’re hesitant to buy. For a dollar though, I’ll try any comic book, especially with a name like Deadskins. The story starts off with Shane… he can only be described as a city slicker, as he’s attempting to board a train and finding the handle to be gross. Eventually he makes it on board and ends up sitting next to a woman with a bird. Unfortunately for Shane the woman talks way more than the bird. Eventually she bores him to sleep. When he wakes up he finds everyone on the train slaughtered. He freaks out, but manages to keep the flowers he’s carrying safe as he makes his way to the engine room to see if he can figure out what’s going on. Everyone is dead there too and the train is approaching a dead-end, forcing Shane to make a difficult decision… well not too difficult. Basically it’s jump or die!
This story was demented, but in just the right ways. It’s a mystery as to why Shane was left alive while everyone else was murdered and the mystery only gets bigger. Shane eventually makes it to his home town to find it boarded up and the only person left alive is a crazy blind man named Jack. Jack is more of a pain than he’s really worth, but he’s all that Shane has to go on.
Aside from the story being nuts, it’s very well told. The pacing is just right and the reveals are perfectly timed to keep your interest. The rules of the world and the horror aspect of it are still a bit unclear, but they’ll likely be fleshed out more in the next issue. The dialog was very humorous and broke the serious nature of story so that you didn’t fall too deeply into the disturbed imagery that accompanies it. Jack is a hoot and for a blind man he’s very lively and the perfect match for Shane’s straight-man act.
The art style looks heavily influenced by Riley Rossmo, but the coloring and inking style separates it just enough to be unique. The book is mostly in black and white with some grey tones and fantastic brush work with the ink, but there are a couple of colors used. Red is obviously shown along with a mustard yellow at times, making their presence stand out. Though the book is bloody, the gore is actually at a minimum which is nice since it would make this dark story all the darker. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still gory, but nothing compared to a cover from Avatar Press.
This was a very enjoyable first issue. It sets the stage for more murder and mystery as Shane sets off to get his lady-love back, but who knows what he’ll encounter or find along the way. Really I just like the quirkiness of this tale and the setting as both captured my imagination. The writing and art, work hand in hand to deliver a great product. Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s only a dollar. Check it out if you like horror that makes you think and is full of dark comedy moments.
Writers: Clay Adams & Alexandre O. Phlippe
Artist: Leila Del Duca
Colorist: Brett Nienburg
Publisher: Fried Comics
Release Date: 6/11/13