Curiosity Shop #1

Writer: Brad Gischia
Artist: Brad Gischia
Colorist: Lesley Atlansky
Letterer: Zakk Saam
Publisher: DimThroat Comics

A review by Nicole Bresner

Save the date, because Curiosity Shop #1 from DimThroat Comics arrives on January 25th. A promising and spooky start to a tale of supernatural horror, Curiosity Shop #1 combines teen angst, a small town setting, a very creepy dude riding around in an old car, and a curiosity shop that is more than it seems.

Petra Kalich is a loner. She suffers from migraines, has a flustered working mom, and is in need of a job for herself. After a gruesome stranger is seen passing through town, Petra begins to experience strange events and learns of a grisly act of violence committed against a local classmate. As her day progresses, she stops in at The Curiosity Shop seeking a job, where more odd and disturbing happenings occur. As time goes on, Petra learns she has taken on more than she bargained for. At the heart of the story is the search for a “canonical” object, and it appears that the relic is in danger of falling into the wrong hands. Whose hands are “right” and “wrong,” however, is yet to be revealed. Jay Fischer, the owner of the shop, seems to have some secrets, and as Petra’s new boss, the stage is set for a confluence of dark events to descend upon those involved with the sought-after treasure.

The story, art and lettering are seamlessly woven and, despite some as-yet unexplained mysterious happenings, Curiosity Shop #1 flows nicely from scene to scene, giving out just enough story to keep the reader intrigued throughout. As a fan of both horror and the supernatural, and a former Comparative Religious Studies major, the premiere issue offered a bit of everything for my tastes. A typically brooding young girl unwittingly caught in a struggle for a sought after artifact, a priest who has been visited by the malevolent and unholy stranger, the owner of The Curiosity Shop, and a pair of men-in-black types, all cross paths to hint at some monumental action in future issues.

Gischia’s art is unique and detailed and portrays the action of Curiosity Shop #1 with an expressive flair for faces and facial expressions. Well-executed backgrounds and details complete the look. Gischia’s writing is compelling and conversations flow naturally. Saam’s lettering is also clean and is easy to follow. A pet peeve of mine is a page so lettered (though I appreciate the challenge of lettering) that it becomes cluttered and confusing. There’s none of that here. Similarly, the colors are clean and muted to reflect the grim subject matter.

The Verdict:
Buy It! 
Overall, Curiosity Shop #1 is exactly what a horror comic should be. It’s polished and professional with a sufficient creep factor to ensnare the reader. Curiosity Shop #1 is Brad Gischia’s first solo book, and he has shown himself to be up for the job, as well as the talented team of Saam, Atlansky and DimThroat Comics. The various story lines are interwoven with finesse and intrigue. I look forward not only to the release of this issue but to Curiosity Shop #2 as well.

You can follow the creators on Twitter at:

DimThroat Comics: @DimThroatComics
Brad Gischia: @comicwasteland
Lesley Atlansky: @latlansky
Zakk Saam: @ZakkSaam

Nicole Bresner
Freelance painter, illustrator and comic book artist, and columns/reviews contributor to Rogues Portal. Adores all things dark, demonic and creepy. Also adores glitter. Reconcile THAT.

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