"The Eyrie" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Written by Thom Burgess
Illustrated by Barney Bodoano
2017, 40 Pages
When Rebecca is offered a new photography gig out in a remote area of Britain's South Coast, she leaps at the opportunity. Her boss even offered her his family cottage to stay in instead of a hotel. As she explores the surrounding area, Rebecca learns of the dark history of this region and the horrific things that happened to those that would use the grounds for smuggling. Now she's seeing things. Are these tall shadows real? Or is it all in her head? Either way, this is creepy as Hell.
After the absolutely terrifying Malevolents, I'll read anything that Thom Burgess writes. That book shook me to the core. You can see the influence of that book on The Eyrie in both look and tone. It shares some of the same features as well with a dark force slowly stalking the main character, just out of eyesight. It's still just as unsettling as it was before, although it does feel a bit like a repeat in some cases.
Artist Barney Bodoano casts a hazy glow across The Eyrie, as if each panel is part of a dream, slowly fading upon waking. The nighttime scenes exemplify this, like you're looking through a thick fog. This works very well, as the creatures in this land stalk in the shadows. You see a faint shape of what could be a person in the darkness. The first time it appeared, I didn't notice it. Then, once I looked a little closer, I nearly dropped the book from fright.
|Click images to enlarge|
The shadows are used effectively throughout this comic. They're always just out of sight, turning into bizarre and twisted shapes, not quite human. It always amazes me how disturbing a normal person can look if you just extend their limbs a little longer. The arms are spindly and creepy. If one of those stick-like fingers even grazed your cheek, you'd probably drop dead from terror.
The Eyrie builds the tension over time with moments like these. You might think your eyes are playing tricks on you as your mind struggles to rationalize what can't possibly be real. Then the creative team dives headfirst into the scares, forcing you to look head-on at pure horror.
There are some tangential characters that pop up throughout The Eyrie that don't contribute much to the overall story. They help provide some additional color for the town and its superstitions. Rebecca is rather odd and her boss is an unapologetic asshole. There's a scene towards the end that provides some much needed context for their relationship that also puts the entire story up until that point in a new light.
The Eyrie is a creepy tale of small town horror. It adds new layers with each turn of the page, building up to a jaw-dropping climax that will leave you breathless. Between this and Malevolents, Thom Burgess is on a roll.