"And Then Emily Was Gone #0" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by ComixTribe
Written by John Lees and Tyler James
Illustrated by Iain Laurie and Alex Cormack
2015, 32 Pages $0.00
Comic released on May 2nd, 2015
After scaring the crap out of me with the mini-series, creators John Lees and Iain Laurie are back for more from the monster Bonnie Shaw in this special issue of And Then Emily Was Gone. New readers don't need to know any of the background to dive right into this Free Comic Book Day edition. It presents an entirely new story entitled “The Strange Case of Billy McTaggart”, set in the same world as the original series, and it's just as creepy.
Young Billy is seeing monsters, or rather one specific one. The hideous Bonnie Shaw is watching him through his bedroom window, taunting the boy. He tells his parents, but they don't believe him. This happens for a couple nights with Bonnie Shaw getting closer and closer each time. It's driving Billy mad and he doesn't know what to do. This isn't some trumped up kid's tale about monsters hiding under the bed. This is so much worse, and Billy's time is running out.
Bonnie Shaw is a damn scary creature. Artist Iain Laurie draws some absolutely terrifying images in this book. The monster looks almost silly at first, like a reject from H.R. Pufnstuf, with big yarn-like hair swirling about and a bushy chest. Then you get a closer look at it and that all changes. Bonnie Shaw opens its mouth to reveal jagged teeth surrounding rows of eyes (yes, eyeballs in its mouth). Its cold dark eyes stare right into your soul. The comic reaches its climax with an explosive full-page image that is the stuff of nightmares. Bonnie Shaw is revealed in all its glory and it's incredibly frightening.
|Click images to enlarge|
This #0 issue serves as a great complement to the mini-series (now available in trade paperback!), as it shows a different side to the Bonnie Shaw legend. Whereas the previous comic dealt with a friend of a child that was taken by Bonnie Shaw, this one follows a target and what's left in the wake. Writer John Less shows us that while this being is definitely a monster, it may not be the most monstrous thing lurking on this little island.
As an added treat, the second half of this book is a pre-cursor to the upcoming Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare, from writer Tyler James and artist Alex Cormack. This was my first real exposure to the character and it certainly will not be my last. It's hard not to love Oxymoron as he brutally beats an old man looking for a tool that will allow him to spread even more chaos. It's easy to compare Oxymoron to the Joker, as the two have some major similarities, but the former is unchecked by a super hero. He's not obsessed with a man in a cape and cowl. Instead he's free to wreak havoc and spill blood in increasingly ridiculous manners.
Free Comic Book Day can be hit or miss with some titles. Many end up as reprints of old stories or all-too-brief introductions to a story that is way far away. ComixTribe released a great middle ground with this book, supplying a nice addendum to an already amazing mini-series and offering a fantastic introduction to an upcoming one. There's also a teaser for a third title. If this doesn't make you want to go through the publisher's back issues, nothing will.