Writer: Thom Burgess
Artist: Joe Becci
“Should you be out late, for a drink in Mayfair, then be sure to walk quick, past old Berkeley Square.”
Four school friends, on a dare, sit in the sparse candle lit gloom of London’s most haunted House, the house on Berkeley Square, home to the malevolent flesh eating spirit known as Maggs. Could the cautionary tale of the tragic Billy Blores be the key to their survival or their damnation?
Upon opening this book, the first thing you will notice is a testimonial from the legendary Junji Ito, the Godfather of chilling, slowly building psychological horror, and that on its own should give you enough of reason to give this a look. Another reason is the fact that the story is actually developed from the many ghost stories surrounding the real 50 Berkeley Square in London.
This is not a new story. It’s one we know well, with sceptical kids out to scare each other to death with campfire stories of ghosts and goblins and, because this is a story that’s style is very much an homage to Junji Ito’s works, you know from the very start that something is going to go really badly wrong for somebody.
I’m not going to lie, there are better entries in this category. It’s a sub-genre with a long and distinguished list of contributors, but this interpretation by Thom Burgess, manages to be interesting, clever and chilling. The story-within-a-story style works really well and lends itself nicely to idea that this is going to be part of a larger series of classic horror stories. I love a well-done ghost story and, make no mistake, this is a well-done ghost story. Burgess has an excellent understanding of how to build tension and the overall result is a really well structured tale that leaves you wanting more.
Joe Becci provides the art that brings Burgess’ story to life, and on the whole he does a great job, although, for me, I would have liked the line work to be cleaner and more defined. Due to the pencilled style, I was left feeling that the artwork wasn’t quite finished, and due to this distraction a little of the tension was taken away from the story as a whole. I’m just being overly picky here though as the overall design and execution works well.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this story and it’s certainly worth picking up if you’re a ghost story fan, especially if you’re a fan of the myriad stories surrounding the City of London. I’m certainly looking forward to checking out the next instalments in the series.
You can get yourself a copy of Malevolents: ‘Click Click’ – as well as a host of other horror offerings – from the Man O’ Ghosts BigCartel Store (CLICK HERE).
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek