I exclaimed a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t a big expert in the horror comic genre. At the time I had been reviewing Regression but in the short time since I’ve been really only reading horror stories.
Vanesa R. Del Rey
Vanesa R. Del Rey
Redlands is out next week and it’s got to be something everyone should read – horror fan or not. The first issue is flurry of violence, gore and death. It’s a setup for something much bigger because it only just about introduces us to the main characters.
It is one of the stories where you can’t really talk about it without exploding into a babbling rant about what happens next. In summary, Redlands, is not just the title of the comic but also that of a small town in Florida. Save for the local sheriff’s station, we don’t get to see a whole lot of the town though we do get a glimpse at the locals.
No Fury Like
The events of the first issue take place in one night and all happen quiet quickly. The sheriff and his deputies have barricaded themselves inside their office/jail along with some locals. An execution hasn’t gone to plan and now the officers are cowering from their consequences. As their defenses and their fears are assaulted by a coven of witches, furious and out for revenge.
I really can’t go into anymore than that. Trust me, you just need to go out and pick this up when it’s released! Creators Bellaire and Del Rey know exactly what they’re doing here. Redlands #1 is just one big hook, page after page. There is just enough given away for you to piece together a rough idea of what happened before the attack on the police station and that’s all. Just who are these witches are and where have they come from? We don’t know why they were attacked and lynched but we do know they are not above fighting back. The first issue begins with an ending, where Bellaire and Del Rey’s story goes from here is anyone’s guess. How and why did the town of Redlands incur the wrath of these women?
Three Witches Scorned
The art and colours are Redlands are smothering. Del Rey has a scratchy style, lines etched into the background, buildings and across characters are hard and revealing. Compared to the burning tree outside with flames that are clean and tidy; the police station and occupants are drawn harshly
The events take place in one night and even though everything happens quite quickly, Bellaire and Del Rey finds a pace that drags out the torment of the survivors. Each panel is packed and where there might be space to breathe, Bellaire fills it with darkness and shadows. Redlands is a murky affair of black, rusty browns all stained with the red of blood and the only light emanates from the tree on fire in the yard. The fire casts a heavy glow, it’s not warm, it’s not inviting, it throws shadows and stands to highlight the violent act perpetrated by the townsfolk.
As a first issue Redlands plays out like the end of a story. There are hardly any survivors, revenge has been had and the credits should roll as everything fades to black. But it doesn’t. The fire doesn’t die down, it engorges everything and grows bigger. Redlands isn’t done telling it’s story. The violence and carnage are screams in the dark, the coven aren’t done with the town yet, Del Rey and Bellaire aren’t done with us yet.
Gruesome, brutal and brilliant! Put Redlands on your pull list or live in regret!
Editor-in-Chief, part-time super villain and hoarder of cats. If you can’t find me writing, I’m probably in the kitchen!