Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Lisa & Francesco Francavilla, Ariela Kristantina
Artwork: Francesco Francavilla, Jorge Corona
Colours: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Release Date: 23rd November 2022
Co-authored and pencilled by Eisner Award-winner Francesco Francavilla, the Creep’s opening ‘scare’ for issue three of Creepshow certainly provides the ten-page tale with just the sort of sleepy American backwater terror some of the horror franchise’s fans might find enjoyably reminiscent of Stephen King’s “Old Chief Wood’nhead”. Indeed, the Italian illustrator may well have missed a trick by not sketching the cigar store Indian nonchalantly standing idly by in a heavily shadowed corner of Jimmy the Barber’s salon, as the animal lover quietly goes about his daily business of cutting people’s curls and listening to boastful hunters talk of their potential future kills.
Happily, despite this slight quibble, there’s still plenty to intrigue the reader in “Hair” as both the role of James’ amiable raccoons and the innocuous task of him sweeping his customer’s severed locks down into the sewer system suddenly become abundantly clear. Unsurprisingly, this revelation also allows Francavilla the opportunity to depict a truly formidable-looking specimen of Procyon lotor, as well as hint that the story’s central protagonist probably isn’t quite as innocent as to the devilish doings taking place “down by the river” as his inoffensive surprise at so many grisly murders might suggest.
Somewhat more technologically minded, though equally as chilling, is Ariela Kristantina’s “journey to a temple hidden within an island paradise where many visit but not everyone leaves.” Depicting easily one of the most annoying and condescending ‘victims’ of a ghoulish demise imaginable, “The Bridge” will doubtless have many a perusing bibliophile urging this standalone story’s foul-mouthed Alexis on towards her inevitable doom with increasing urgency.
In fact, this tale’s tension is debatably caused solely by the suggestion that the repugnant social influencer will also lead her hapless trio of biographers into a fate worse than death, rather than it being generated by concern over the bikini-clad bimbo’s diabolical destiny. Artist Jorge Corona should also be heartily congratulated for their contribution to this staycation’s success, courtesy of some truly plant-packed panels, and their wince-inducing layouts showing Alexis’ disconcertingly ghastly physical transformation; “You… Learn some respect… Learn how to listen… Stay here… With the others… Forever…”
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]