Friday, September 25, 2009

Comic Review: The Veil #3 (IDW) by Matt Hill

The Veil is a horror comic about a haunted, young medium named Christine living in Crooksville. Christine is haunted by this mysterious presence behind the veil, the barrier between the souls of the disturbed dead in which this comic is named. The presence is the manifestation of “...all our dark impulses and feelings and anxieties...”, she has named the Slug Man.

The Veil grabs the attention of the reader at the very start with the art work, and keeps a fairly strong grip throughout. The art work is definitely the strong suit of this comic. For a comic with such dark subject matter, there is a great deal of bright color. What's more, the color is appropriate in any given scene. When the supernatural is involved, and this is true for all medium, artists tend to darken things needlessly. Not this book. The characters are well drawn, and the apparitions in this book are grotesque, and fun to look at.

The Premise of our emotional sludge manifesting it self in a small town definitely interesting. While the story is good, I would have preferred that a bit more of it had been show in the art rather than told in expository narrative boxes. In the first part of this issue there are a few too many of these boxes to read. In a visually fascinating scene with Christine behind the veil we are treated to some some stunning artwork, but here to there are too many narrative boxes to be read. Christine is telling us why the dead are assaulting her from beyond the veil, and what the horrifying Slug Man is, but I would rather be shown more of this through the art work. An opportunity partially squandered.

After this scene behind the veil, however, this issue with narrative boxes is cleared up, as the book becomes more plot driven. There are some graphic scenes showing the maddening of the town, some harming themselves, and others turning on the few sane town members. Christine joins her sheriff friend named Frank, and they are saved by a man Frank knows named Gabe. The issue ends with an honest to goodness intriguing, and scary reveal.

While the graphic, and violent scenes of self mutilation are a tad much, they don't slow down the story. The dialogue isn't anything special, the narration begins to get a bit dramatic towards the end(though there is good reason), and the depiction of rural America as psychologically sick is less than subtle, but this is still a good book.


Matt Hill
Staff Reviewer

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