Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Created by: Juan Doe
Release Date: 21st August 2019
Blaise Bordeaux-Davis, celebrity and social media darling has announced his upcoming wedding. Much to the dismay of his fans, Blaise and his fiancé Gaia will be holding their celebration completely off the grid, in an undisclosed location. No technology, no cameras, no phones, a complete coverage blackout. Soon the guests start to suffer anxiety from separation from the world and their online existence – a situation which is only exacerbated when a mysterious killer shows up and starts picking them off one by one.
Juan Doe’s solo project Bad Reception is billed as an isolation horror that throws a satirical spotlight on our obsession with social media and the cult of celebrity. As a concept, this is a story that immediately ticks a lot of boxes for me. Isolation horror is my favourite genre and throwing in an ‘80s slasher is just the icing on the cake.
Objectively, the first dozen pages of this issue are far more tense than they have any right to be, with a simple black page, and an interview played out in text. A splash of red on the next page, growing and growing as each page turns becoming… something else.
The remainder of the issue is concerned with giving us more of a background on Blaise and Gaia, as well as introducing the main players in the coming fun and games. As with all good slasher stories there are certain characters that immediately make you root for the killer, but I’ll let you make up your own minds up as to who they might be.
The artwork, as you’d come to expect from Juan Doe, is great throughout. Me being me, I thought the odd panels/strips which were interspersed throughout the issue, giving us a glimpse of the mysterious killer(?) were the best of the artwork in this issue. I particularly enjoyed the simple woodsman/hunter lifestyle displayed in these panels as a sharp contrast to the hi-tech world that our protagonists inhabit.
With Bad Reception, we have a really interesting and well written isolation/slasher horror series written, drawn and coloured by Juan Doe, that is off to a flying start. The exposition has been masterfully handled in the first issue and leaves us with the rest of the series to have a lot of fun with the real meat of the story, and believe me, it looks like what’s coming next is going to be a whole lot of fun!
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek