"The Family Graves #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Source Point Press / Comics Experience
Written by Timothy Bach
Illustrated by Brian Atkins
Colored by Dijjo Lima with Brandon Daniels
Lettered by Marco Della Verde
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 5th, 2018
The Graves are your typical American family. Dad is a billionaire inventor werewolf. Nori is a rebellious teenager with mind control powers. Gordo's a creepy zombie baby. Lum is an energetic fish boy. Mom's just trying to hold it all together without turning everyone to stone as a gorgon. OK, they're not entirely like your typical American family.
The Family Graves introduces us to this odd but lovable group who struggle with everyday problems as well as supernatural issues. In this opening issue, Phil, the patriarch of the family, discovers a mirror that opens up to another dimension. Of course, the logical thing to do is to bring your entire family through it. Thus, we get the Graves' latest adventure.
|Click image to enlarge|
This is how we see them all in action. They're like a super hero team in this regard, with each one using their supernatural abilities to subdue a two-headed dinosaur. Some are better at this than others. For example, Phil can't transform into a werewolf at will, nor can he control himself when he's wolfed out. That doesn't help much in fighting a dinosaur.
The family interactions are a little corny at times, but you can't help but love them. There's a bit of a sitcom feel. I half expected a laugh track to pick up every so often. I want to stress that this isn't a bad thing. It adds to the fun of The Family Graves. Writer Timothy Bach handles the monstrous elements with just as much care as the family dynamic.
Artist Brian Atkins balances this well too. The monster side of the Graves is spooky, but not terrifying. It's more of a little shock that is quickly followed with some comic relief. The best example of this is when Bjanka, the mother of the group, transforms into a gorgon to save her baby. Up until that point, she looked like your average soccer mom. Suddenly, she's a badass warrior with snakes for hair and glowing eyes.
|Click images to enlarge|
Phil is most definitely a werewolf, but his human form looks like a regular, cheesy dad. You know he's got some super lame jokes just waiting for the right moment to drop. This contrasts well with his monster form which is big and menacing. One aspect of this that really stands out is his glowing red eyes. Colorist Dijjo Lima makes the crimson pop on the page, cutting through the shadows in an intimidating fashion.
With each character representing a different supernatural creature, letterer Marco Della Verde delivers some variety in their word balloons. Gordo has a rougher font in a green balloon, whereas Lum's thoughts are in a green cloud-like shape with something like gills on the sides. This adds to the monstrous qualities of each one.
The Family Graves is like The Munsters meets Lost in Space. It takes a solid and fun family dynamic and throws in a whole lot of adventure and good old-fashioned monsters. There are hints at a larger story within, not just the Graves themselves, but the world all around them. This is a book where anything can happen and judging by this first issue, anything will.