Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Steve Orlando, Clay McLeod Chapman
Artwork: Marianna Ignazzi, Anwita Citriya
Colours: Fabiana Mascolo, Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Release Date: 25th January 2023
Providing something akin to a modern day take on Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, Steve Orlando’s standalone story for issue five of Creepshow is arguably a little too preoccupied depicting Parker’s blithe bedroom activities than how the old-man-turned-young somehow managed to summon a demon to feast upon his increasing great age. But once the clubber’s phone is inadvertently taken by a casual overnight partner the tale soon heats up as the rapidly decaying octogenarian has to plead for it back before his soul is consumed by The Creep’s heavily-fanged friend.
Arguably not helping “Thirst Trap” with its slow start though is Marianna Ignazzi, whose art style doesn’t seem to quite suit the narrative until the central character’s fate is truly sealed and they’re literally turned into a puddle of grisly goo on a residential area’s pavement. Before this scene of ghoulish jellification, the Italian illustrator appears to struggle to show Parker at his true age, simply pencilling the disconcertingly unwrinkled pensioner with white hair so that he looks strangely reminiscent of an adolescent Race Bannon rather than a long-time devotee of the Devil; “There. It’s done. It is done. Isn’t it? A deal’s a deal, and you… You’ll do it? Give me more time? That is… It’s what we said.”
Much more intriguing is Clay McLeod Chapman’s “Husk”, which ends this mini-series finale with a fantastic show of eye-wincing body horror, courtesy of a poor debutante suddenly transforming into a human-sized Praying Mantis and eating her dumbfounded parents alive. Leaving much to the imagination as to just what covenant was agreed between the girl’s non-biological father and the woodland witch who gave her to him, the Richmond-born writer does a good job of hinting at the teenager’s transformation with a disgusting bunion and freakish rippling bone moment, before having the monster finally reveal itself in true “Carrie” fashion.
Perhaps this yarn’s sole concern therefore lies with the initially quite lifeless layouts of “exciting newcomer Anwita Citriya”, which at first appear as trepidatious in their woodenness as the elegant “Texas Dip” curtsey Sally is trying to master alongside her mother. Happily however, this listlessness soon departs once the young aristocrat retreats to her bedroom, and is ultimately replaced with some excellent-looking panels portraying the girl’s metamorphosis into a truly nightmarish, all-devouring giant insect.