"London Horror Comic #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by London Horror Comic
Written by John-Paul Kamath
Illustrated by Lee Ferguson and Dean Kotz
2014, 56 Pages
There's something about the anthology format that really works when it comes to horror comics. I don't think that any other genre really takes to the collection of short stories in quite the same way. Sure, there are anthologies out there for sci-fi and mysteries, but it's not quite the same as horror. London Horror Comic has provided another example as to how a few scary stories can work so well in a single funny book. Issue #6 includes four brand new tales, each more terrifying than the last.
As with the previous issues, each story included in London Horror Comic is written by John-Paul Kamath. This time around, Lee Ferguson and Dean Kotz provide the artwork, although I can't tell you who does what. The quality has been kept high in terms of the paper stock as well. There's a smooth, glossy cover and some thick, sturdy pages.
The pacing of this issue is such that each story gets better as you go on. While they're all satisfying, the opening tale, I Saw the Beast, is the least scary. It shows a different type of horror, following a man who has just lost everything and what he does what he has nothing left to lose. The ending is a bit of a letdown. It is definitely jarring but it feels like it is in there for shock value alone. There's a small nod to Amazing Spider-Man #50 with the iconic shot of Peter Parker walking away from a garbage can containing his costume. In this case, the main character is walking away from a garbage can where he had just tossed his pink slip.
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The following three tales provide some great twists, each more elaborate than the last. Strange Fruit centers on a lonely young woman that meets her vampire next door neighbor in a strange circumstance. This shows off Kamath's more humorous side because the situation gets increasingly more ridiculous. The artwork here is a little flat at times, especially with the faces of some of the characters. It looks like the same artist as I Saw the Beast.
My favorite story by far in this issue is the final one, entitled Ring of Fire. Kamath provides what is probably the most disturbing example of “be careful what you wish for” that I've ever seen. Steve Winwood (presumably not the musician of the same name) summons a demon and holds it hostage until it grants him what he wants. He should know that that's a bad idea to begin with, but when you piss off a demon you need to be careful what you ask for. Phrasing is very important. Be specific. The last page of this story was in my head for days after I read it. It will stick with you and long after you've put the comic away, you'll find yourself suddenly saying “Man, that was f-ed up.”
The artwork for Ring of Fire also stands out from the first two tales. It has a bit of an old-school look with very natural characters that quickly spiral out of control. The images also seem to jump out more, with some great splash pages including a menacing shot of the demon. There's a wide range of emotions coming from this creature, too. He goes through pure anger to surprise to charm as he manipulates the man.
London Horror Comic is becoming a shining example of the horror anthology with top notch storytelling and some great artwork in a quality presentation. John-Paul Kamath has a talent for twisted tales in small packages. He's not focused on one particular area as his stories range from the supernatural to vampires to basic human evils.
London Horror Comic can be purchased directly from the creator via the official website.