This book took a long time for me to digest, mostly because there are two opposite emotions presented in the story that battles page after page and can leave you feeling exhausted and ultimately torn on how you feel by the end. This graphic novel has a striking look to it and a story that definitely breaks the norm of storytelling (just a bit), but manages to deliver a complete package from beginning to end. The story is about a guy who witnesses the brutal attack of his sister right in front of him. During his struggle with the man he’s bitten on the arm. He watches helplessly as his sister’s throat is cut and the man eats from it. The bite gives him a constant reminder of his loss and the man who took his sister. After he’s released from the hospital he has a hard time sleeping and an even harder time eating. He continues looking at the bit mark and even opens it to peer inside. Something is stirring in the man and it’s not justice for his sister. He begins to have frightening visions of himself eating his sister’s throat which begins to push him over the edge.
The story is sweet and simple with very little dialog. It has what some would consider a twist ending, but I found the tale to be more of a round than anything else. The fact that there is little to no dialog plays to the two emotions that you should feel while reading this book. Part of you will be really sympathetic to the guy even as he drifts away from what he starts as. The other emotion you’ll feel is basically the opposite of sympathy which I would consider disgust. The back and forth continues throughout the book and Rhodes and Dillon do a great job of pulling back the disgust to keep you interested in the character. It’s also a huge credit to their writing to have so much of the story told through the art. It means that the story was very tight and that the artist was able to communicate the story more with images.
The art style is great; it has a mix of Ben Templesmith and a handful of other IDW classic horror artists. I can’t say that all of the panels are needed or really drive the story forward, but there were some great solo panels that were just interesting and added to the intensity of the page. The strongest element of the art is by far the facial expressions. There is a great scene where the main character is having a break down and envisions that he’s attacked this young girl and her friend. He looks quite freaky as he realizes what’s happening is just in his mind and quickly leaves. The young girl turns to her friend and makes a goofy face and spins her hand around her ear to signal that he’s crazy. It’s such a great look that says so much; scenes like this show why the writers where able to rely on the art so much.
I enjoyed this book, but it was a lot to digest emotionally as you try to figure this main character out. I definitely enjoyed the story more the second time around as I picked up more from the art. As much as I liked the fact that the story didn’t have much dialog occasionally some scenes needed it. I’m still not sure if the main character was eating from his own wound or not and I think one line of dialog from the main character talking to himself would have cleared that up. In general though, it was a creepy fucking book that I really enjoyed; a different and strange story with stylized art to accompany it. Also the creators are turning it into an independently produced film so check out their site for more on both.
Writers: Sam Rhodes and Bryant Dillon Art, Photography and Design: Robert Burrows Publisher: Fanboy Comics Price: $9.99 Website: Fanboycomics.net