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FEARSCAPE Issue 3- Review by The Comic Book Yeti

  • Big Indie

  • FEARSCAPE, ISSUE #3

    Writer: Ryan O’Sullivan
    Art: Andrea Mutti
    Publisher: Vault Comics

    Fearscape, Issue #3, cover, Vault Comics, O'Sullivan/Mutti

    This review only covers the 3rd issue. Because of that, we’re still getting insight into the full story arc, so this review might look a little different than my other ones of entire volumes. Also, this review uses a similar narrative to the FEARSCAPE comic, so consider reading it in case you’re confused.

    WHAT IS IT?

    A moody horror fantasy where the narrator is an unreliable plagiarist who gets in way over his head.

    It’s a little like Dante’s Inferno with a Twin Peaks aesthetic and a Memento narrative.

    WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

    (Minor Spoilers)

    This issue is ROUGH for Henry Henry, as he-

    Dear reader, I’m going to stop this ridiculous “Comic Book Yeti” right here, as I, Henry Henry, can do a far better job at getting you up to speed on current events than he ever could.

    You see, though I left that piteous “Fearscape” in my shadow, the events of that night led me to the manuscript of my once mentor. And, though I had steeled myself to make the proper edits so that it would be readable, I discovered that it had been written perfectly in mine own (there I go again with the olden speak, I apologize, dear reader) narrative voice. What a fortuitous finding!

    It was only fair that I publish the book under my name instead of Arthur’s, since he was the one who wrote it exactly as I would have. However, no one seemed to agree with me (it is always I against the world, as you are beginning to see). Arthur and his aggressive minx of a daughter interrupted my event at the bookstore because they were so desperate for their own attention that they must steal from what is owed to me.

    To make matters worse, I must battle a fearsome entity from the Fearscape which has followed me back home like a lost puppy, and also have an unpleasant conversation with the annoying, irreversibly confused Muse.

    Thank you, dear reader, for continuously rooting for your hero, Henry Henry, as I vanquish beasts both real and ethereal. I am certain that we are through the worst of it and everything will be just fine from here on out.

    WHAT WORKS?

    • O’Sullivan’s story is told in layers, what is happening vs what is told to us, which makes for a fun reading experience with depth
    • His style in this comic reminds me of Palahniuk, constantly challenging himself to write in innovative ways, often with protagonists we root for even though they may not be likeable
    • Henry Henry as a protagonist is like Breaking Bad’s Walter White: I wonder how far he has to go before we stop rooting for him simply because he’s our protagonist
    • He’s a little like villains in the real world in that he makes things worse for everyone else while having few personal consequences of his own
    • There’s a certain sadistic joy in watching a jerk like Henry get himself into a world of trouble
    • It’s fascinating imagining the story without Henry’s narration — how we might give more credit to him, and how it may seem so much more like a traditional adventure story
    • Maybe we root for Henry Henry because he also reminds us of ourselves, just a little bit?
    • Mutti’s art is ethereal, almost dreamlike when combined with Vladimir Popov’s brooding colors, and feels inspired by classic fantasy illustrations or moody TV shows (see below for an example)
    • Deron Bennett’s lettering is on-point, and his caption placements build the story and characterizations unlike any other comic-letterer duo out there right now
    • This may be misattributed, as the dialogue/narration boxes’ placement could be built into the script, but the lettering in this comic is still highly effective nonetheless
    • The demonic entity in this issue speaks in the same mannerisms Henry Henry sometimes slips into, which I found fascinating
    • You’re definitely going to want to read the back cover on this issue — there’s a delightful easter egg there
    • Also, Vault comics have been putting intros here on most, if not all of their titles, and I find it really helpful to remind me what’s happened before and what to expect inside

    WHAT DOESN’T WORK?

    • Since it’s only the first couple issues, it’s hard to know if the series will be more on the side of frightening fiction or commentary on writers as creators
    • There’s no one really likable in this story so far, so anyone who needs a character to stand in for themselves in order to enjoy a story may be disappointed
    • This title may appeal more to longtime comics fans, writers and people in touch with how they lie to themselves than your average person
    • Some of the things the Fearscape’s entities say, I’m not sure how to weigh their significance — they may make more sense or be paid off in future issues
    Fearscape, Issue #3,  Vault Comics, O'Sullivan/Mutti

    WHY SHOULD I READ IT?

    FEARSCAPE is a novel concept by an insanely talented and thoughtful creative team. It may be a little early to say, but if you’re a fan of meta fiction or horror, I really think you’ll like this title.

    WHAT DO I READ NEXT?

    If you like the writing:

    • VOID TRIP by Ryan O’Sullivan & Plaid Klaus
    • The Sandman, Vol. 1 by Gaiman, Kieth, Dringenberg & Jones III
    • The Unwritten, Vol. 1 by Mike Carey & Peter Gross

    If you like the art:

    • FEARSCAPE #1 & 2 by Ryan O’Sullivan & Andrea Mutti
    • Port of Earth, Vol. 1 by Zack Kaplan & Andrea Mutti
    • Swamp Thing, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore & John Totleben

    ABOUT THE CREATORS

    Ryan O’Sullivan – Writer

    • Influenced by Bukowski, Kerouac & Hunter S. Thompson
    • Outlander: He’s from Yorkshire, England
    • Part of the White Noise collective with other extremely talented writers

    Andrea Mutti – Penciller & Inker

    • Outlander: Currently lives in Italy, and I’m super jealous of this fact
    • In the past, he worked on several detective titles for French publishers
    • His talent for drawing the noir genre definitely translates well to this title

    Vladimir Popov – Colorist

    • Dream Team: Also worked with Andrea Mutti on the comic, Control
    • Seems to enjoy working in muted colors
    • Inspired by Moebius, Simon Bisley, Frank Frazetta, Robert Crumb, Alex Raymod, Wally Wood and Don Lawrence (according to BrokenIconComics.com)
    • Outlander: Lives in Serbia

    Deron Bennett (AndWorld Design) – Letterer

    • Founded AndWorld Design, a lettering & design studio
    • Multitalented: Also wrote the comic, Quixote
    • Has a cool video where he talks about why he loves lettering

    The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

    All Vault Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright Vault Comics or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

About The Author

Matt Ligeti

(AKA "The Comic Book Yeti") believes reviews should be simple and modern, written in a way that's easy for the average person to read. Wanna' know more? Send the Yeti and email at TheComicsYeti@gmail.com or visit ComicBookYeti.com

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