Action Lab's Danger Zone has released their newest title and it was a pleasant surprise for me. I want to call Stillwater a psychological thriller, but it also has elements of horror. The story follows a young man named Bill who inherits his Uncles farm in the mysterious town of Stillwater after his suicide. Strange things happen in Stillwater and they all seem to revolve around the lake that is also part of Bill’s inheritance. There’s not a lot I can say about what actually lurks within the lake but whatever it is it leaves behind body pieces of its victims. Bill is met with other odd encounters like hostile neighbors and chilling nightmares. I think any young person whose lacking direction in their life can relate to Bill. He’s isolated, depressed and desperate. As a first issue this book works because it lays out the pieces of a mystery. Violence is often suggested but not explicitly shown which leaves a lot of horror to the imagination. These days it takes a lot to disturb a comic book reader. This book achieves that for me successfully.
The cover is a definite hook and has a really unique image. The main character Bill is sitting on his porch and up to his ankles in water. Once you start reading the book there are plenty of explanations for it. I interpret it as a fish out of water. What got my attention about the interior artwork was the distinct style. Everything is slightly off in shape and size. It makes the whole issue feel like a memory or a dream and helps increase the creep factor. The best way I could describe the style is it’s like Tim Burton’s movies. There’s a Gothic tone to each character. The water scenes are horrifying especially when it looks like the characters are popping out of the pages while being swallowed by it. WARNING: If you have a fear of water or drowning then this book will not comfort you.
Overall I enjoyed reading this book and I’m intrigued to know more about the town of Stillwater. The characters all seem to be hiding something and there’s a sense of doom about everyone. If you like the more psychological side of horror then you’ll definitely enjoy it as much as I did.
[button btn_url="" btn_color="teal" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="blank" link_rel="" icon_left="" icon_right=""]Score: 4/5[/button]
Stillwater #1 Writer: C.W. Cook Artist: Kelsey Wroten Publisher: Action Lab/Danger Zone Price: $0.99 Release date: 3/16/16 Format: Mini-Series; Digital