Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: 17th Feb 2016
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Randy Valiente
A typical Twilight Zone morality tale with a twist, Laughing Matter is empathic and horrifying in equal measure without ever really managing to surprise or shocking. The artwork isn’t great, with the inconsistent perspective and sketchy lines perhaps adding a surreal or dynamic quality but it just didn’t impress me and felt a tad workmanlike.
Writer: Mark Rahner
Artist: Colton Worley
This tale reminds me of a Stephen King short story with its ‘rite of passage’ theme, managing to build suspense rather nicely, although I found myself quite disappointed with the payoff. I did enjoy the artwork, which evokes the sense of an almost overexposed childhood summer and a sort of dark Americana – both of which come to play with my Stephen King comparison. The emphasis on the boys expressions and the exaggerated lettering and sound effects is also very effective.
“The Comics Code”
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Unknown… sadly
Could there be anything more post-modern and ironic than a Twilight Zone comic story about a ‘moral majority’ anti-comics campaigner? It’s an interesting angle and while the build to the inevitable twist isn’t anything special, the mode of the twist itself is not what I was expecting at all. Much of the artwork seems rushed and lacks definition and dynamism, but there are a few standout panels at key points of the story where the composition, linework and colours come together to really make an impact.
Overall, this is a slightly disappointing one-shot. It’s undoubtedly faithful to the source material but most of the stories are uninspired and the artwork is mostly by-the-numbers. One for fans of the Twilight Zone only.
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The writer of this piece was: Christopher Napier
Christopher Tweets from @chriscrowing