From writers Howard Wong and Josh Stafford. Artist Robin Simon Ng. Published by Source Point Press.
After interviewing the writers on this week’s podcast I was excited to pick up this issue on new comic book day today. I talked with the writers for almost two hours and knew a lot about the comic going into this. But nothing could prepare me for it.
This is a normal world that wakes up to discover a horror has happened and there are two choices: run or die. Answers can come later.
The story opens on a woman I’m guessing is running a day care center, or a pre school at nap time. She looks out the window to see what looks like a child eating an adult in the car. Then another child acts out, and another, and another, and she remembers there are about a dozen children behind her. This scene is so well structured you can feel the dramatic pause and rising tension through the pages. How can one page be flipped slower than another? I don’t know, but somehow that’s what happened.
All of that is just one of what I’m guessing will be our main cast of characters/survivors. Throughout the book we meet other people who are discovering this new mad world and trying to survive the moment. As disturbing as it may be, difficult decisions and actions must happen in order to make it out alive. You will see demonic children punched in the head. And worse. While none of the adults know what’s going on it is immediately obvious that these aren’t the sweet little kids anymore. Those are gone, this is not pure evil and the only option is escape.
During the podcast interview the writers mentioned that Ng isn’t a huge horror movie fan and thus didn’t fall into some of the tropes. Now that I have a copy in hand I have to say they were short selling that. This doesn’t flow like a horror movie, or even most horror comics, but that makes it all the more interesting. My favorite was the turn that takes place during a school performance. Every panel, every angle, how the action breaks down – all of it felt so fresh but also scary AF (as the kids say). These damned cursed children leaping off the stage full of bloodthirst is the iconic moment of this issue. One I want to hang up on my wall and deal with all of the dirty looks and questions later.
I can’t wait to see how this tale progresses over five issue and what, if anything, we learn along the way. This is probably my next book to buy way too many times. Single issues, graphic novel – if that’s in hardcover and paperback I’ll take one of each please. There’s also plenty of children around the world providing an endless source of future issues.
I’ll start taking notes on the creepy things my son does.