Friday, March 22, 2013
Comic review: Severed
As much as I love comics, I'm constantly behind on the latest and greatest because I don't read issue-by-issue. Even when I purchase part of a series, I tend to buy the trade paperback rather than each individual comic. Most of the time I borrow titles through the library, and they too purchase either trade paperbacks or hardcover collections. The fact is, issues are more difficult to keep current, more fragile, and would require a different sort of display space than most libraries have. Whether they should or not is a debate for another time.
Given these facts, I have not been able to jump on the SEVERED bandwagon as early as I would have liked. But I'm there now!
Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft's horror series has been considered one of the best recent entries in the genre, which is why I was looking forward to it. The story starts out with a stranger passing a mysterious note to an on old man through his grandson, and flashes back through the man's childhood to tell the terrifying story of how he really lost his arm.
Attila Futaki, the primary artist on the series, has done an incredible job. The illustrations are so detailed and realistic, especially the characters' faces, which I think makes a huge difference in a story like this. There are deep shadows and glowing highlights, as well as a darkness that seems to creep in and out of each frame in time with the characters' emotional states.
Snyder and Tuft's story represents one of my favorite things about horror, which is that you can have such a weird, terrifying tale, yet the heart of it always comes down to universal and fundamental human emotions and experiences: abandonment, trust, disappointment, disillusionment, the drive to know who we are and where we come from. We learn the world is not as safe as we would like it to be, and from that comes the fear of what might be lurking in a stranger's heart. Will they hurt or heal us? Will they help us, or themselves? Can we trust those we don't know? And if not, how do you deal with knowing there are bad things and bad people out there in the world, lurking around every corner? How do you live your life despite that possibility?
I would definitely recommend this, especially if you're looking for something a little bit different than the usual monsters and villains that end up populating the genre.