A Review By Greg Driver Twitter: @Battou
If there's one thing I have learned through being a comics fan, it's that great stories sometimes, very easily fly under the radar undetected. You have to keep your eyes peeled and ears to the ground or you will easily miss them in the crowd. It’s easy to stay on the main street and be dazzled by what is in plain sight but sometimes you need to dig a bit deeper and duck into an alley, because, more often than not, that's where real gems are on display!
Deadhorse. A comic that sort of just dropped into my lap here in the Attic space-cum-office I call Ace Comicals HQ. (I was sent the latest chapter: Deadhorse, Ballad of the Two Headed Dog #3: This Isn't Happening. And also first 6 issues collected under the title Deadhorse, Book 1: Dead Birds, This review covers the entire story so far)
At the core of this story is a man named William Pike. In possession of a key that had been sent to him by his father, long thought dead. In search of what the key unlocks and the truth about the fate of his father he takes a journey to a town at the edge of nowhere. But this is not without its perils: Dangerous bounty hunters, a scheming industrial kingpin, a decades old plan and mind bending revelations that stretch back to the dawn of time! This is a well designed jigsaw of an adventure thriller mystery, courtesy of writer Eric Grissom (Gregory Suicide, Planet Gigantic, Animals, The Mark).The kind where the parts fall into place easily and with great timing! There’s also a nice comedic element that never feels mishandled or out of sync. This book has influences from classic weird fiction and thrillers and also has this “Twin Peaks” twist to its presentation that I really enjoyed!
The art throughout, by Phil Sloan (IDW's War Of The Undead and Weird NJ) has this awesome abstract cartoon thing going for it. Its minimalist with clean bold lines and has this art deco 1930s movie poster aesthetic that I think works great with the tone of the story. This is punctuated and enhanced by bold textured colours. Praise owed to both colouring talents on display throughout these books, Marissa Louise(Galaktikon, The Wilds, Spell on Wheels, Wonder Woman Annual) and David Halvorsonwho also works under the pen name Marcus Emerson (Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja, Recess Warriors,The Super Life of Ben Braver, Planet Gigantic). There’s some fantastic and creative panel play, especially in Ballad of the Two Headed Dog #2, where we are treated to a page within a full page that looks as if it is reflected in a glass on a bar. Another layout that pops uses the design of a certain symbol to great effect. The cool lettering design and sound effect work also really works well with the grand design.
I really enjoyed reading and catching up on this book and I can tell you that the latest chapter is just as awesome as the rest. It really carries through on the promise of the previous issues, and delivers some great sequences that I can’t talk too much about here for fear of spoiling it! What I can say is "Some mysteries are revealed, frozen fingers are packed in ice, and a human carpet points the way."
We are currently up to chapter 3 from book 2 of the Deadhorse story: Deadhorse, Ballad of the Two Headed Dog #3: This Isn't Happening. Book 1 collects the first 6 issues under the title Dead Birds. Below are some preview pages from the latest chapter due for release on Wednesday May 23rd. Deadhorse is available at deadhorsecomic.com, ComiXology and EricGrissom.com. Deadhorse is published by Frankenstein's Daughter.
Writer/Letterer/Designer: Eric Grissom
Cover/Interior Artist: Phil Sloan
Colorist: Marissa Louise(#2-#3 of Deadhorse, Ballad of the Two Headed Dog), David Halvorson(#1-#6 of Deadhorse, Book 1: Dead Birds and #1 of Deadhorse, Ballad of the Two Headed Dog)
So what are you waiting for? Get reading, catch up on this awesome book and grab the latest chapter!