Comics Review: ‘Children of the Grave’ is a Thought-Provoking Journey
Children of the Grave (Scout Comics, $3.99) opens 30 years from now on Earth in Terra, an isolated village where town residents (“children”) care for each other with help from “providers,” the presumed leaders of the village.
Daniel, the 20-something protagonist, is not content with the village life and harbors a desire to leave it and make a path for the rest of the world. Brother Cruise, the Village head and mouthpiece of the “providers,” finds Daniel and warns him of the perils of leaving the village (“it is not safe past the outer rim”) while questioning his wanderlust and delivering mild threats against it.
Disgusted during a dogma-heavy celebration that night, Daniel leaves to commence his exploration of the world outside Terra only to encounter a mysterious hooded figure–shown on the Issue 1 cover–who reveals something of herself in a dramatic and shocking final panel that left me wanting more. Brother Cruise, shown after the large celebration, enters a mysterious room that reveals a sinister nature.
The comic has a lot going for it, and while this review covers the first four issues of the story, for spoiler-related reasons they’ll be discussed in vague terms. The first two issues simmer with tension and strangeness, especially around thetown’s mysteries. This comes to a head in a scene where Brother Cruise becomes aware of Daniel’s wanderings despite his warning.
The art throughout Children of the Grave is excellent; colorful, dynamic, and graphic. Issue 2 contains both an interesting dream sequence and a delightfully graphic chunk of action, executed with strength by the artistic team of Gioele Filippo (illustrator) and Marco Lesko (colorist). This is not a one-off; the on-page violence is extraordinary, turning blood splatter into art.
The writing team of Sam Romesburg and Ben Roberts deliver genuinely surprising and interesting moments that push the story forward. There is great strength in the story’s quieter moments: the brief backstory scene of a key character thirty years ago, or Daniel’s interiority in Issue 1 which dives into character at a tangible, personal level.
In a surprising moment in issue 3, one of those small moments creates a significant change that modifies the story’s tone, direction and arguably genre. When Daniel uncovers the larger, sinister truth behind the village as well as answers to Brother Cruise’s purpose, the story’s primary focus turns to the consequences of that discovery, exchanging a character-driven, tense story for a plot-driven epic. While some may not have a problem with this shift, it was an issue in the storytelling for me, personally.
Despite that change, I enjoyed and continue to enjoy Children of the Grave. It’s an interesting and recommended book. Scout Comics and the creative team deserve credit for a bold move, the kind of plot risk that few other companies take with content: horrifying, interesting, and worth your own investigation.
Want more comic recommendations? Check out In the Bins: Marvel Horror Comics From the 90s.
‘Official Five Nights at Freddy’s Cookbook’ Gets Release This Fall
Five Nights at Freddy’s is getting a big Blumhouse release very soon. But, that’s not all that the game is being adapted into. The hit horror game experience is also being made into a cookbook filled with deliciously spooky recipes.
The Official Five Nights at Freddy’s Cookbook is filled with items that you would find at an official Freddy’s location.
This cookbook is something fans have been dying for since the first games’ original release. Now, you will be able to cook signature dishes from the comfort of your own home.
The synopsis for Five Nights at Freddy’s goes like this:
“As an anonymous night guard, you must survive five nights as you are hunted by five animatronics hell-bent on killing you. Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria is a fantastic place for children and adults can have fun with all the robotic animals; Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy.“
You can find the Official Five Nights at Freddy’s Cookbook in stores beginning September 5.
Stephen King’s ‘Billy Summers’ Being Made By Warner Brothers
Breaking News: Warner Brothers Acquires Stephen King Bestseller “Billy Summers”
The news just dropped via a Deadline exclusive that Warner Brothers has acquired the rights to Stephen King’s bestseller, Billy Summers. And the powerhouses behind the film adaptation? None other than J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way.
Speculation is already rampant as fans can’t wait to see who will bring the titular character, Billy Summers, to life on the big screen. Will it be the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio? And will J.J. Abrams be sitting in the director’s chair?
The masterminds behind the script, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, are already working on the screenplay and it sounds like it’s going to be a real doozy!
Originally, this project was slated as a ten-episode limited series, but the powers that be have decided to go all out and turn it into a full-fledged feature.
Stephen King’s book Billy Summers is about a former Marine and Iraq War veteran who has turned into a hitman. With a moral code that only allows him to target those he deems “bad guys,” and a modest fee of never more than $70,000 for each job, Billy is unlike any hitman you’ve seen before.
However, as Billy begins to consider retirement from the hitman business, he is summoned for one final mission. This time, he must wait in a small city in the American South for the perfect opportunity to take out a murderer who has killed a teenager in the past. The catch? The target is being brought back from California to the city to stand trial for murder, and the hit must be completed before he can make a plea deal that would bring his sentence from the death penalty to life in prison and potentially reveal the crimes of others.
As Billy waits for the right moment to strike, he passes the time by writing a sort of autobiography about his life, and by getting to know his neighbors.
Clive Barker Says This Book is “Terrifying” & It’s Becoming a TV Series
Remember the boost The Evil Dead got back in 1982 when Stephen King called the film “Ferocuisly original?” Now we have another horror literary icon, Clive Barker, calling a work “Utterly terrifying.”
That work is the novel The Deep. No, not the 1976 Peter Benchley thriller with the same name. This is Nick Cutter’s 2015 bestseller which takes place underwater. Cutter is the pen name used by Canadian author Craig Davidson.
Speaking of King, he has also praised Cutter’s work, saying the novel The Troop, “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down … old-school horror at its best.”
That’s high praise because Google Books describes The Deep as “The Abyss meets The Shining.”
Two horror literary legends lauding your work as “terrifying” and “the best?” No pressure there.
Bloody Disgusting breaks down the plot for The Deep in their story:
“A strange plague called the ‘Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure.
But far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, a universal healer hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.”
Writer C. Henry Chaisson, who wrote screenplays for both Antlers and Apple TV’s Servant is adapting the book for Amazon Studios.
iHorror will keep you updated on the progress of the series as we know more.
*Header image taken from The Telegraph.