COMICS PREVIEW: "Horror Comics #1"

Written by Bradley Golden, Pencils by Andrey Lunatik, Inks & Colors by Mickey Clausen, Cover by Helmut Rancho

"Horror Comics #1" cover art by Helmut Rancho

The creators’ aspirations for Horror Comics are set pretty high, based on their cover design trade dress for issue #1, which is a direct homage to the cover treatment of classic EC comics, considered the high-watermark of comic book horror.

The cover art itself is deceiving in that the handsome ice cream man depicted on the cover looks nothing like the grotesque man drawn inside the book. It would have been more interesting if the creepy-looking ice cream man in the story had actually been the handsome man from the cover. Then the tale could have also had a "you can't judge a book by its cover" layer, and his actions would have been more of a shock.

The interior story is certainly haunting, violent, and gory enough to be mentioned in the same article with EC horror comics, and features an evil ice cream man. The art is appropriately dark, edgy, and rough, and the ice cream man suitably (if stereotypically) disturbing-looking, even though he seems friendly enough to his customers. The writing is very simplistic and spare, with the visuals communicating most of the mood.

"Horror Comics #1" interior art, with the first look at creepy ice cream man

A big difference between this story and those found in many, if not most horror stories of this type, is the lack of a surprise twist at the end. This story doesn’t have one, but instead gives away the ice cream man’s dark secret very early in the story.

Labeled “Part I”, I really don’t know where the story could go from here. Will "Part II" be a different story with different characters, or a continuation of the ice cream man story? Perhaps there are more elements to the ice cream man's motives still to come. I felt this story concept could have been told as a stand-alone issue in half as many pages, with a surprise twist at the end, which would have made it feel much more like a classic EC horror tale.

However, for those who appreciate cheesy noir horror, then by all means give Horror Comics a read.

The first issue of Horror Comics releases May 29, 2019 from Antarctic Comics.

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