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Lovecraftian mythos. Monsters. Colourful scenes of bloody carnage. A ghoulish dose of gallows humour – Speak No Evil #1 is a comic that knows how to tickle my sweet spot. When the opening panels involve a demonic ritual with a tentacle impaling a poor soul’s chest it has my attention. However, I imagine this is also going to appeal to fellow like-minded lovers of chaos as well.
Speak No Evil #1 comes from partners-in-crime and prophets of evil Justin Corbett and George Tripsas of Gray Bear Comics. It’s the type of comic which continues to reaffirm the brilliance of self-published independent comics right now, and I imagine it’ll probably inspire some future DIY creators to bring their own twisted ideas to life.
The story opens in Upstate New York in the year 1927, where we’re thrust into a ritualistic experiment in a cabin – conducted by H.P. Lovecraft and Nikola Tesla, I might add – which is going horribly wrong. Then fast forward 10 years later, we find ourselves introduced to the brothers Silas and Edwin, who find the same cabin following a car accident while trying to escape from pursuers. Inside the cabin they find a box they shouldn’t open and… you get the point.
The debut issue of See No Evil is terrific fun. With imaginative nods to historic figures and a story ripe with potential, there isn’t any way that fans of horror comics won’t come out of this feeling optimistic about future issues. The first issue establishes a universe where monsters and other dimensions exist, but at this point we only get a brief introduction to their terrors – which is a good thing. We want to be teased before we get the full assault.
The comic is quite reminiscent of Evil Dead and Re-Animator. Not only with its Lovecraftian elements, setting and fascination with the unknown and otherworldly, but also in the way it juggles humour with horror. Plus there’s that energy throughout which those films and their comic counterparts possess better than most.
The illustrations by artist Samir Simao are charming, especially during the opening sequences where we get to see the horror on display. It’s a pivotal element which evokes that sense of demented fun which permeates the story. Independent comics have been producing some outstanding artists these past few years, and Simao is definitely a guy worth keeping an eye on.
See No Evil isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It’s a story that knows its audience and horror fans will have a blast with it. I’m excited to see where it goes from here. Issue #1 accomplishes everything that a premier instalment should, and for that reason it should be on your reading list this Halloween season.