"Corktown #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Alterna Comics
Written by Mario Candelaria
Illustrated by Scott Ewen
2016, 25 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on May 18th, 2016
It's a cold winter in Detroit when bodies start piling up with strange stab wounds that look eerily like bite marks. The corpses have been drained of blood, so you can probably see where this is going. The local police are clueless as to who – or what – is behind this. If only they could see or hear Torrie, the one detective that seems to know what's going on. The problem is she's dead.
Corktown jumps into things (no pun intended, even though that the first few pages feature a guy falling off a building) right away. We see the latest victim of the vampire meet his untimely demise as Torrie helplessly watches from afar. It's as if the bloodsucker knows she's there and likes an audience. Here's the kicker though: the vampire is Torrie's reanimated corpse. That's right. Her body is a vampire killing people and she's forced to watch, powerless to stop it...for now.
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I absolutely love this premise, but I don't think the fact that the vampire is Torrie's body is immediately apparent. Sure, there's a similarity in appearance, but you don't get a good look at the bloodsucker, so it could just be a passing resemblance. When I looked up the issue description online, it's right there. I'm sure we'll have more details about this and how Torrie ended up a vampire in the first place in subsequent issues.
There's a great batch of split panels early on showing the faces, then mouths, of both Torrie and the vampire. This shows a fantastic contrast between the two. Although Torrie is dead, there is more life in her eyes and face than the vampire. Hats off to artist Scott Ewen on this top notch art direction.
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As this is a black-and-white comic, Ewen draws Torrie with wisps of smoke rises up around her so you can tell she's not of this world. Otherwise, she's just a little paler than the other folks in the area. There's a translucency to her appearance as well. You can just slightly see through her, but not with any great detail. It's a nice way of showing that she's a ghost without doing something silly like putting a sheet over her head.
Writer Mario Candelaria lays out the rules for this supernatural showdown in an organic way. Torrie helps the new victim along without sitting him down and giving him a lesson in history and folklore. By the end of the issue, you know the parameters of what's going on, which is more than I can say about the local police. They really have no idea what they're up against.
Corktown has a great hook that grabs you early on. A ghost cop is trying to stop her vampire corpse from killing people. It presents a slew of possibilities, each of which comes with its own set of questions that I can't wait to see explored further.