Winnebago Graveyard #2
Writer: Steve Niles
Artists: Alison Sampson, Stephanie Paitreau
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
A review by Anelise Farris
It is a good time right now to be a fan of horror comics, and Image is a publisher who consistently provides innovative and unsettling stories that feel at once both instantly familiar (in the best way) and totally surprising. Winnebago Graveyard, about a summer road-trip from hell, is no exception (check out my review of issue #1 here). In the first issue, we meet two sets of unfortunate vacationers: a couple who makes a poor decision to stay at a deserted hotel and a family who stops at a roadside carnival—both terrible, terrible decisions but alas that is what horror is made of.
Both of these groups are tied together by one common thread: there is a cult who is looking for some warm bodies. Winnebago Graveyard #2 picks up right where issue #1 left off: our unknowing family venturing into the nearest town after their Winnebago is stolen from the carnival. Wandering around, looking for anyone to help them, our family finds a sheriff who, of course, directs them to the hotel where the couple from issue #1 chose to stay. From here, the issue moves quickly: the family sees a hooded group of people carrying torches (bad sign) coming to their room, and the family wisely chooses not to stick around and see what the cult wants from them.
While the story is certainly intriguing, one of my favorite aspects of this series is definitely the art: it brings a modern twist to a 70s horror film aesthetic, and with the horror genre a successful work depends a lot on the entire atmosphere that a narrative gives—not just a solid story. The coloring here is gorgeous, full of dark hues with occasional splashes of neon-like brightness. This lends an element of surrealness to the otherwise realistic art. There is also a great deal of interesting work with lines and angles, which gives the unsettling feel that everything in this world is slight off, illusory, and that it’s all about one’s perspective. The panel variation is smart too, as it layers the story with suspense. Basically, Winnebago Graveyard #2 is a gorgeous, disquieting ride into a hellish Americana.
Buy it! The second issue of Winnebago Graveyard ties together the two groups of people introduced in issue #1, while also propelling the story along in a well-paced way. Wisely, the creators have chosen not to give us a lot of information about the cult themselves, and this makes me eager for the next issue: just WHO are these people and WHY must they kill? Oh, and if you weren’t sure if the comic was scary enough, I’ll just say the horror is definitely amped up here in issue #2 (e.g. blood-soaked demon summoning and all).