FEARSCAPE Issue 3- Review by The Comic Book Yeti
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Influenced by Bukowski, Kerouac & Hunter S. Thompson
- Outlander: He’s from Yorkshire, England
- Part of the White Noise collective with other extremely talented writers
- 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
- 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
- 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
FEARSCAPE, ISSUE #3
Writer: Ryan O’Sullivan
Art: Andrea Mutti
Publisher: Vault Comics
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?
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 DOESN’T WORK?
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:
If you like the art:
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Ryan O’Sullivan – Writer
Andrea Mutti – Penciller & Inker
Vladimir Popov – Colorist
Deron Bennett (AndWorld Design) – Letterer
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