"Lip Hook" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by SelfMadeHero
Written by David Hine
Illustrated by Mark Stafford
2018, 168 Pages
Graphic novel released on November 27th, 2018
If I've learned anything from Sink, it's that there are these quaint little towns in the British Isles where absolute terror grows. That seems to be the case with Lip Hook, where a couple fleeing from the police find themselves on one foggy night. During their stay, they start to infect the town with an odd cult-like behavior that builds to a fiery end. There's definitely more to Lip Hook than meets the eye and this is something that goes back years and years.
Lip Hook is a weird comic. I'm going to put that up front. It's unsettling from the jump and never lets go of that feeling. Much of this comes through in Mark Stafford's artwork. There's a rundown quality to most of his characters, like they've lived a rather hard life. That is understandable, as the town of Lip Hook deals with a mysterious and dangerous fog that bubbles up from the bowels of the planet. This swoops in every night, forcing the townsfolk to wear steam punk-esque gas masks if they want to go outside.
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This fog seeps into everything within Lip Hook, coating the town in drab browns and greys. It creates a depressing landscape and makes it look like the place is very rundown. There's no real hope here. These people are trapped in Lip Hook and this has become their entire world.
As creepy as the tone of Lip Hook is, it pales in comparison to some scenes packed with mind-bending terror. There are a couple of instances where insects swarm over an area, engulfing a person. Think about that for a second. Every inch of your body is covered in bugs. I'm shivering just typing it out. What follows is what takes Lip Hook to new heights and it is so very chilling.
Lip Hook goes in some unexpected directions and writer David Hine always keeps you on your toes. When it started, I thought I was in for a tale of a few fugitives causing a ruckus in a small town, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. There are a number of moving parts that come together like this perfect storm of horror and mayhem, building towards an explosive end.