"Thin" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by American Gothic Press
Originally published as Thin #1 - #3
Written and illustrated by Jon Clark
2016, 90 Pages
Trade paperback released on January 4th, 2017
Doris Greene is fat. From the looks of things, she's been this way for some time. She's tries diets and exercise, but ultimately they all fall through and she ends up in the same bad habits again. She's desperate and depressed. When she hears about a miracle procedure that can shed the pounds, she jumps at the opportunity...only to find herself in a struggle for her life.
Thin deals with an issue facing millions of people today. It's rare that you meet someone that's completely comfortable with their body. Dieting is a huge industry with pills, exercise routines, and gym equipment taking in tons of money every year. This makes Doris' plight sympathetic and relatable. When you add in her troubles at home with her husband, you just feel sorry for her. In the scheme of things, she's not really trying though. We first meet her as she's hiding the remnants of her latest trip to a fast food restaurant from her significant other. Sure, she's depressed and what not, but if you have to hide your burger wrappers, maybe it's time to take your diet a little more seriously.
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Anyway, this miracle cure is creepy from the get-go and it doesn't get any more welcoming the deeper Doris gets into it. If she's willing to get a strange and clearly off-the-books surgery of some kind by a guy who's a glorified veterinarian, maybe she could at least attempt to go to the gym every once and a while. The majority of Thin takes place in this surgical theatre with Doris strapped to a gurney. It harkens back to Stephen King's Misery a bit in this manner, although there aren't any dirty birdies here.
You get a glimpse of what makes this procedure so terrifying on the cover for the book. There's an unsettling creature that looks a bit like a piece of the human intestines, however there's a ring of jagged teeth jutting out of one end. It's like a monster tape worm. Writer / artist Jon Clark has created such a disturbing little creature with a simple design. Just looking at it can gross you out, but imagining what it might do to your insides brings the terror to a whole other level.
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Clark has an interesting style, where the images look almost like they were drawn on crumbled paper. It's a unique effect that is rather hit or miss. It often casts strangely shaped shadows on the character or makes them look like they are part of a 64-bit video game with polygons sticking out.
Thin was originally released as a three-issue mini-series, but in reality this feels like it could have been done as a one-shot. There's not a whole lot of actual content, as most of the book is Doris struggling in a basement by herself. The third chapter features four straight full-page spreads of what amounts to the same shot, just at slightly different angles. As full disclosure, I actually read the series out of order going through the first, then third, then second issues. I did not notice a difference by missing the second chapter on my first read through.
Thin is a gripping character study that shows how far a woman can go when she's at rock bottom. While it could have been trimmed a bit, it keeps the tension high throughout the story. It presents an otherworldly threat in a manner that comes across as all too real. It's easy to put yourself in Doris' shoes and wonder what it would feel like starring this slimy space slug down as it prepares to gobble up your insides while you're strapped to a table.