Yes, yes, ya’ll. I’m back again and this week I’ll be dipping once more into swirling slurry of awesome that is the world of independent comics. This time around, I’ll be taking a look at a book that recently made it’s way into my inbox and wormed itself into my heart. Well, the dirty, darkest, most vile and twisted part of my heart at least. Y’know? The fun part.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

TWISTED DARK
WRITER – Neil Gibson
ARTISTS – Various

Twisted Dark is a self-published anthology comic in the vein of classic television and comic book series like Tales From The Crypt or Creepy. What sets it apart from such hallowed company however, is that writer and creator Neil Gibson doesn’t wish to focus on the supernatural horrors that plague our dream and nightmares, but has rather decided to plumb the darkness that lurks within all of humanity. The very basic evil that can poison and blacken the most stalwart hearts of men.

It makes for a unique reading experience, to say the least. Especially in the current climate in the comic book industry. Anthologies seem to strictly be the purview of small press and independent publishers where risky ventures like TWISTED DARK are created out of a love of concept rather than adherence to an all-powerful bottom line. We’re lucky then that Mr. Gibson is passionate about such awful things.

VOL 1. of TWISTED DARK contains 11 separate stories. Some long, some short. Some drag us screaming towards an obvious, inevitable and awful end, while others are more surprising in their ultimate horrific conclusions. A few of the tales stand alone and yet several intersect in unexpected ways and are all the more terrible for it, and I mean that in a good way. All of them, however, are well crafted, and deliver on the promise of the series title.

The tales are as varied in their locales as they are in characters and motivations, yet each one manages to give us slightly different insights into what can make a person do the evil things they do. Frankly, the book made me more than a little concerned for the mental state of the author but I guess when you’re selling a product like TWISTED DARK, that’s probably a good thing.

Two of the standouts, “Routine” and “Munchausen’s Little Proxy” are so completely different in goal and execution that they perfectly encapsulate the variety you’re getting when you dive into this nasty little tome. These tales, as well as all of the others in TWISTED DARK feature tight, creepy scripts and extremely impressive visuals.

While there are a few weaker entries when it comes to the art department I will say that those instances are rare. The digital copy I received was slick looking and professional but if I was to nitpick, I would focus on the lettering as a  point of issue. Often in comics, especially in indie publications, lettering is viewed as an afterthought. This shouldn’t be the case as bad lettering is the easiest way to ruin an otherwise outstanding visual. Good lettering should be invisible, bad lettering sticks out like a sore thumb. I would’ve liked to have seen the lettering in this book crafted with the same care and professionalism as all of the other aspects that went into its creation.

Overall, I really enjoyed TWISTED DARK. It’s something different and clearly missing from the comic racks of today. If you’re a horror fan and are looking for something to scratch that itch bloody I highly recommend you pick this up.

An anthology horror series with not a single supernatural element that slowly reveals the layers of its depravity like  some kind of evil onion?

You’re so WEIRD, Multiverse!

…and that’s why I love you.

Remember, if you’re gonna GEEK OUT, GEEK HARD!

To See Kris’ comic work, visit www.bizarrecomicsonline.com

Follow Kris on Twitter @krisjjohnson

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