Back Issues: Terrible Terrains
We’re reaching the end of November and on this side of the pond all that means is the weather gets worse, the embarrassing jumpers come out and we all get a little more fanatical about Christmas. But for our readers in the US it’s time to give thanks and eat more than is actually physically possible, or at least that’s what TV has told me. I may not know what the heck a yam is or why anyone would put marshmallows on sweet potatoes but I definitely understand the appeal of a feast and giving thanks for all the warm and fuzzies.
So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, with a bit of Irish ‘sure it could be worse’ chucked on top, here are some terrible terrains you should be pretty thankful you aren’t in!
The Woods might be one of the most beautiful comics on the shelves right now, the art and colours are lush, intricate and super inviting. But if by some creepy, amazing accident you wound up in the pages of The Woods, the colours would be the last thing on your mind. Just ask any of the 437 students, 52 teachers and 24 other staff members of Bay Point Preparatory High School who found themselves transported to this spooky land. On the 16th of October 2013 all 513 people and their school suddenly disappeared from their quiet suburban corner of Milwaukee and ended up… well we’re not quite sure. All we know for definite is that they’re at least a couple light years from home.
Their terrifying new home is covered in mountains and forests full of monsters and dripping in poisons. Nothing is what it seems, there’s a strange power lingering and a threat around every corner. As they fight to stay alive their little community is infiltrated by an unnerving force, dictated by a power-hungry gym teacher and attacked by beasts with way too many limbs. Nowhere is safe, no one is trustworthy and nothing is what it seems. And almost everything has too many eyes.
Teenage me (and current almost-mid-20’s me if we’re being honest) would happily have jumped right into the Buffyverse. Sure, there are vampires and demons and the only high school is literally sitting on the door to hell but all of the risk seems worth it for the magic, the Bronze and the demons that fall into the nicer bits of the cute/evil venn diagram. Fray might be set in the same universe, but a lot time has passed and it was far from kind. The Manhatten we see in Fray is drowning in poverty and being run by crime-lords of the mutant variety. Demons were banished hundreds of years ago and the Watcher’s council disbanded. Vampires, now known as lurks, have started to creep back into the shadows and there’s no Buffy Summers and Mr Pointy to stop them.There hasn’t been a slayer for centuries, the city is unprotected. Until Melaka Fray, 19 year old professional thief, is visited by a ‘neutral demon’ who delivers her call to arms and sets about training her to protect the slum that her city has become.
It’s a scary new world, evil doesn’t hide anymore, it puts on it’s best suit and tie and laughs as it smushes helpless people under its foot. Many have nothing, most have little and the few that have a lot don’t exactly deserve it. Monsters are everywhere and they aren’t always who you expect, sometimes they’re lurks, sometimes they’re your friends and sometimes they’re gigantic dragons rising from the sewers.
Postal is set in the small town of Eden, a quiet, peaceful town with some interesting characters and a staggeringly low crime rate. In fact, there’s no crime at all. There’s also no mobile phones, no internet and next to no information about the residents or their mysterious pasts. The only way to get anything in or out of Eden is through the Postal Service run by the Mayor’s son, Mark and even he’s under the scrutiny of the FBI. Eden is a secretive town, and for good reason, it’s a safe haven for criminals. On your last leg? Arrested one too many times? Welcome to Eden! Change your name and maybe your face, get a boring 9 to 5 and blend into your new, crime-free life. There’s no room for slip-ups, any illegal activity and it isn’t jail for you, it’s death. Eden is the last stop for murderers, drug dealers and a whole host of other criminals – from petty to lord.
Unsurprisingly, among the peace and quiet there have been stirrings of something sinister. When a young woman turns up dead, with ominous Latin carved into her stomach where do you look first? In a town full to the brim of criminals, where do you even start?
This is one place where you might actually get that Thanksgiving feast, but if you find yourself in Eden you’re either in a hell of a lot of danger or you’ve done something terrible. Either way, there’s only one way out.
What are some terrifying territories you’re thankful you don’t have to call home? Let us know in the comments!