By Chris Tresson
Today I’m going to be reviewing Richard Corben’s Shadows on The Grave #1, from Dark Horse Comics. I have a lot of love for horror comics and I especially love horror anthologies. I like reading them and I like writing stories for them myself… I’m not claiming to be the biggest fan of Corben’s (I sure I would be if I had the time to read the entirety of his body of work), but I can definitely appreciate his talents and his knack for creating creepy stories. Without further ado, let’s jump into the review…
Shadows on the grave comprises of four stories in total. Three that are short stand-alone stories and a fourth one that will run through the entire miniseries. The first in the running order is called Strung Along. It’s about a traveling puppet show and features some really creepy marionettes… This one was probably my favorite one in here. I say probably because they’re all pretty damn good to be completely fair. It’s a great mix of art and story and I’ll tell you something now, I had a glance through the book again after I’d finished reading it and found it hard to look at the faces of the puppets in the story. The last panel on page five of that story is very haunting…
Makes me feel a little uneasy, which is great because that’s what I want to be reading, haha.
The following short stories “Roots in Hell” and “For Better or Worse?” are also fantastic stories which make this book a must for any horror comic fan. The story which will run through the series is called Denaeus, a character which you’re informed at the start of the book is the Grandnephew of Richard Corben’s Den (a character he created for Heavy Metal Magazine… I haven’t read it.) It’s an interesting read, although not entirely my cup of tea, but the art is excellent and I will happily read the rest of the story.
The fact that Richard Corben is writing, drawing and lettering his own stories, and has been for god only knows how long, absolutely blows me away. I know there’s a lot of creators out there who do everything on their books, but to this quality? This level? Probably not. I really enjoyed the book and as far as anthology books go, it’s pretty damn solid. Even more so when you consider this is solely the work of one man’s brain. Impressive. Usually with anthologies you’ll find that there’s always at least one stinker in there which drags down the rest of the book, but that is not the case here. Corben’s work is creepy, filled with bizarre imagery and oozing with his trademark style.
So, overall, this is a great book and you can see here why Richard Corben is considered one of the best in his field. You’re getting a hell of a lot of quality here for the $3.99 price tag and if you’re a fan of Corben or just a fan of horror comics and you’re looking for something to read, I suggest picking it up today. I think you’ll really get a kick out of reading it. I’m already looking forward to seeing what Richard Corben has in store for us with the next issue… I’m sure the quality won’t drop.
Shadows on The Grave #1
Writer/Artist: Richard Corben
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics