Review: The Horror Show (One-Shot)

Good horror comic books are hard to find. They’re very much like the superhero genre in that there are plenty to choose from, but the quality is usually average or below average. The Horror Show blew my mind. Not because of its gore and not because it was terrifying, but because of its concept and execution. In just sixteen pages it became the single greatest horror comic book I have ever read. With that said, I can’t tell you much about the story without ruining, so I’m going to set the stage for you and that’s about it. Two friends Tom and Ronnie have escaped the city for the weekend. The cabin they’re at is a place where they can unwind and just be dudes. They’re chatting and shooting the shit when one of them hears some noises outside. He gets up to check it out and finds a zombie looking in the window and dozens more behind it. From that moment, nothing is safe and their lives will be forever changed. That’s literally all I can tell you about the story.

The writing and concept are fantastic. I couldn’t wait to talk about the issue with anyone that would listen, upon finishing it. It’s a story that is so good that you have to share it with others so that you can verify that something this awesome actually exists. Like I said, it was the single best horror comic I’ve ever read. There are twists to the story and you’ll be left wondering what those are when you remember the page count I gave. What could possibly happen in just sixteen pages? How many twists?

The Horror Show One-ShotWriter James Maddox has done a wonderful job of creating a story that is perfect paced and very well crafted. The entire story is feasible within the world that it creates and frankly it’s quite brilliant. It’s so good that other people will wish that they had thought of it first and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few creators tried to steal the idea, but they’ll never nail it the way Maddox has.

The art is in all black, white and red which is perfect for just about any horror story. The line work by Todd Beistel is very detailed and clean looking, but has a scratching look to it that is perfect for the story. The artwork is very important, trust me on this. A lot of the penciling needs to be clean looking in order for the story to have full effect. With red being the only color used it adds to the surprise of the story and supports the plot tremendously.

I honestly wish that I could talk more about this issue, but it would be a damn shame to steal the twists and ending from you. If you’re a fan of horror then you should definitely pick this one-shot up. It’s ruined me on all other horror comics as I’ll forever be chasing this Dragon as the kids say, but it was worth it. It’s currently available free online from the creators so no excuses in not reading it. If you’re going to Lexington Comic Con this weekend then you’ll be able to pick it up in print from Broken Icon and I would highly encourage you to do so. You should probably buy two copies because you’ll want a friend to read it and you’re not going to want to give up your copy. I read the free digital copy and I want to buy it to support the work so consider doing the same.

Score: 5/5

Writer: James Maddox Artist: Todd Beistel Publisher: Broken Icon Comics Price: $3.00 in print or currently free on the site Website: