Sleepless is a collection of horror-esc themed stories and is frankly… pretty awesome. Each tale has its own theme that it deals with and while the four stories are all very different in tone and execution, they find the perfect balance with each other within the issue. In some ways it reminded me of the Outer Limits, but with a heavy focus on the ending of the story. The first story Empty has a twist ending that I will not give away. I can set the stage for you though as a man spends his day alone thinking about all of the good times he had with his wife. We’re not sure what’s happened to her, but it’s clear from this man’s pain that he misses her a lot. In a lot of ways the story comes across as tale about a widower, but as I said… twists! This was a great first story to open to and was definitely my favorite of the issue. The emotions that man shares are very real and moving which makes the ending all the more affective. The art was also very enjoyable as it switches from the past which is depicted as bright and vibrant, to the present which is gray and desolate. It was a very strong story and perfect for anyone that’s felt the pains of love.
Keeping with the twist ending theme is Three Years. It’s also a bit tragic as we find a man talking about the Apocalypse as he sits in his camper away from the rest of the world. He basically walks us through his day and how he’s slowly running out of supplies and car batteries. It’s pretty dark and when you get to the last two or three pages you’ll see the twist and it’s a good one. Really without the twist you wouldn’t care about the story, but with it, it becomes a great short tale. The art is interesting as it has a collage look to it. There are real pieces of photos mixed in with the pencil and painted work on the page giving it a photo-esc quality to it. It works for the story and I wouldn’t mind seeing that style applied to something else in the future as well.
Since there are only four stories I’m going to cut this review short. The third story is funny and quite different from the rest of the shorts in terms of tone and art style, but again it fits in with the issue. The last story is probably the most demented of the issue, but definitely worth reading.
What I find interesting about this issue was the fact that all of the stories had the same writer. This is essentially an anthology style comic, but the only other comic I’ve personally read like this is from Nix Comics. Writer Chris Charlton manages to tell four very different stories and gives each of them their own unique voice. Since I always skip the credit page until after I’ve read the issue, I had no idea it was the same writer. That’s very cool because a lot of times the writer’s voice comes through and the characters begin talking the same, but that wasn’t the case here.
I liked this book and it really did remind me of Outer Limits, though I’m sure some would say The Twilight Zone. I tend to lean towards the former of the two because the stories were geared towards tragic events and didn’t attempt any social commentary. Instead they had a bit of a sci-fi/horror feel and a focus on humanity. If that sounds like something for you then I would recommend checking it out.
Writer: Chris Charlton Artists: Greg Woronchak, David Hollenbach, Joe Badon, Rowel Roque Colorists: Vasco Sobral (1st story) and Heather Brekckel (4th Story) Publisher: Assailant Comics Price: $5.99 Website: Assailantcomics.com