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A few choice words come to mind upon finishing Abattoir #1 (Radical Comic’s newest horror title): Creepy, Gruesome and Damn Good! Horror comics in general tend to fail out capturing the creepiness of their movie counterpart. There’s never any fear for the reader since they have total control over the story with each page turn. Abattoir may not instill fear into the reader, but it will leave them with an uneasy feeling they won’t be able to shake.
It’s Andy Mitchell’s ninth birthday party and the family is celebrating by having neighbors and friends over for the party. It’s a pleasant event until Mr. Mitchell takes a weed-eater to the birthday clowns fingers and then across his throat. From there Mitchell continues to kill party guests before moving onto his own family. The massacre ends when the police show up and gun down the crazed father, but not before he claims the birthday boy as his final victim.
A few weeks later and the house is put back on the market. Unfortunately for Rich, it’s a small town and a buyer’s market. Rich works in a real estate office to support his family. He hates his job and blames his wife for forcing the position upon him. Now he’s faced with selling a house that had six people killed in it. After a night of drinking, Rich and his co-worker Patrick head to the house to get to know it inside and out. This is of course after Rich has had an argument with his wife. They arrive at the house which is still covered in crime scene tape and begin callously cracking insensitive jokes.
That is until Jebediah Crone interrupts the banter. He scares the crap out of the two men practically appearing out of thin air behind them. Crone requests an informal tour of the house that is still covered in blood. Patrick abandons the situation while Rich takes him on a disgusting tour of the house. The sickening part is that Crone wants to buy the house on the spot and at 15% above market price. Rich turns down the offer knowing that there is too much red tape to go through to make the deal happen, but it won’t be the last time that Rich deals with Jebediah Crone.
I’ll be honest, you won’t pee your pants reading this book. You’ll probably never be scared, but you will shudder at the events before you. The Mitchell murders are gruesome and spare no gore for those looking for such out of a horror book. For those looking for a spooky story that is building towards an even creepier horror filled issue, then you found it!
Writers Rob Levin and Troy Peteri create an interesting world of horror and then add characters worth reading about. So often in horror the emotion of the events are lost because the audience doesn’t care about the characters. You’re supposed to be horrified, but mostly end up waiting to see the next kill. Levin and Peteri will not leave you waiting for the next kill, but rather the next event to unfold. The fact that Crone is trying to buy a house that hasn’t been cleaned since the murders is just disturbing, but the proposition will keep you reading to figure out the “Why”.
Bing Cansino lives up to Radical’s high standards of art and is a welcomed addition to horror artists in comics today. Cansino captures 80’s suburbs picture perfectly and draws a sense of normality in a world of horror. His gore is just intense enough to stay tasteful and not being disgusting just for the sake of it.
Overall this issue really stands out. It gets its hooks into right from the start and leaves you wanting to finish the story. In fact that was the most aggravating part of the issue, was to be left with a cliff hanger and another month to wait. With Halloween upon us several companies are putting out “specials” or their own brand of horror. Without a doubt, if you’re looking for a horror comic to read this season Abattoir is the one you’ll want to pick up.
Additionally Radical Comics is holding a contest to have your art featured in one of the next five issues of the mini-series. You can read our full article here, for all of the details. Just make sure you send Radical your entries.
Story – 8.5
Plot – 9.0
Art – 9.5
Color – 8.5
Overall – 8.9