"London Horror Comic #7" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by John-Paul Kamath
Illustrated by Drew Moss and Dean Kotz
Colored by Hi-Fi Design
2016, 52 Pages, $5.00
It's pretty rare when anything in the comic book industry stands unscathed for a year, let alone a decade. This year, indie anthology London Horror Comic is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The latest issue, penned by John-Paul Kamath and illustrated by Drew Moss and Dean Kotz, features two new tales, each centered on female protagonists. This time around, things are a bit more mature, featuring copious amounts of nudity, tasteful and gratuitous.
The first tale, “Colder,” centers on Susan, a woman driven from her home. She's lost her job and she's playing a game of chicken with her old lady landlord over the rent. The landlord keeps lowering the heat, trying to see if Susan will admit she can't pay the bills and get evicted. Susan is lonely and desperate which is a bad combination and she ends up making a deal with a demon. Unlike some stories in previous issues of London Horror Comic, “Colder” is fairly straightforward. There's no real twist to it unless you count the twist of the knife, entering flesh with a solid “CHUNK” sound.
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Artist Drew Moss makes Susan instantly relatable. Her look, especially with her facial expressions, is very girl-next-door. She looks like the kind of woman you'd want to hang out with, which makes her current situation all the more sad. Later on, she goes through a transformation of sorts and almost looks like a completely different person. There's a crazed confidence in her that is previously unseen up to this point. Her hair originally hangs down in a simple cut and later flares out and up, like the mane of a lion. There's one particularly chilling panel where she's standing in silhouette, towering over her landlord with beady red eyes glowing in the darkness. This is some top notch artwork.
The other story, “Kindred,” follows a woman struggling to find her place in the world. This is certainly something many of us can relate to. She gloms onto the first person that shows her affection and quickly regrets it. Fortunately, there is more to her than meets the eye. No, she's not a Transformer. It's something far more terrifying. Dean Kotz's artwork towards the end is something of nightmares. It's all teeth and tentacles and so much horror. He created the unholy offspring of an octopus and a chainsaw.
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As mentioned above, this issue features quite a bit of nudity. This is a strange turn for London Horror Comic, as I don't recall any in the other issues I've reviewed. I have no problem with it when it works within the story, but that doesn't appear to be the case here. It's thrown in gratuitously, like it's an adult book first and a horror book second. I wonder if the excessive nudity was toned down that there would have been room for another story instead of just the two included.
London Horror Comic is a solid anthology title that has stood the test of time. These two tales didn't pack as much of a punch as earlier issues did. They had more room to breathe being the only two included, but I'm not sure that's necessarily a good thing. They could have probably been condensed a bit, however that would mean sacrificing some gorgeous artwork (and at least a few nude scenes).