"House of Waxwork #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Waxwork Comics
Written by Donny Cates, Rami Sharkey, and Jacob Semahn
Illustrated by Marty Davis, Christian DiBari, and Jonas Scharf
Colored by Marty Davis and Mike Spicer
2018, 36 Pages
I've often written reviews where I say that you can practically hear a soundtrack booming during a particular sequence. House of Waxwork provides its very own soundtrack. The anthology comic comes with a three track record to listen to while reading and oh man, does it amplify the experience.
House of Waxwork is bookended by the Die-Rector, an undead host taking you to the movies to share two horror tales. I love these kind of characters and The Die-Rector is right up there with the greats like the Cryptkeeper and Uncle Creepy. Artist Jonas Scharf instantly sets the tone for the book with this macabre opening page. The Die-Rector is horrifying yet classy. He may be a rotting corpse, but he's wearing a bowtie. There's also a nice detail with the woman behind the concession stand looking menacingly at the reader through a mirror.
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Both tales in House of Waxwork are preceded by a classic looking movie poster from Marc Schoenbach. This is a great touch that adds to the overall tone. These images are reminiscent of classic VHS tapes that once lined the walls of now forgotten video rental stores.
The first story, “Nowhere Wolf” by writer Donny Cates and artist Marty Davis, follows a con man in the 1940s dabbling in carnival freakshow creations. Davis' artwork is filled with some great detail that eagle-eyed readers will enjoy pouring through to find every little Easter egg. The tale deals with an invisible wolf, which is difficult to explain in the comic book medium. Fortunately, when the creature is involved in some bloodshed, the red gives you an idea of its size and proportions. The image of a massive wolf covered in blood and yet still hidden in shadow is rather haunting.
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The other story, “The Time Capsule” from writer Rami Sharkey, artist Christian DiBari, and colorist Mike Spicer, is set in a small town ravaged by a sudden zombie apocalypse. Two survivors are fighting for survival while looking for answers. While both stories have nice twists to them, this one takes the cake. It's such a perfect Twilight Zone style ending.
The music fits well with the corresponding story. Sean Yseult handled the first one and Douglas Pipes did the second. Plus, it's perfectly paced, so it matches up with how quickly you'll probably read the book. The beats in the score line up well to the changes in the narrative. They both have a classic horror movie vibe to them.
House of Waxwork brings something new and exciting to the horror anthology comic. It could have just been a gimmick to have a soundtrack to the book. Instead, they work together to heighten the overall reading experience, making it more of a multimedia endeavor by taking it off the page. It helps that the score is solid and something I would listen to even without the comic.
House of Waxwork #2 can be purchased directly from Waxwork here.