"Tragic Tales of Horrere #3 – Halloween Special" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Madius Comics
Written by Mat Pringle, Rob Jones, and Michael Sambrook
Illustated by Mat Pringle, Joe Becci, and Alexa Renee
2017, 32 Pages
Horrere returns for another anthology of spooky stories. This issue is a little different than the previous entries in that it doesn’t feature the next chapter of an ongoing tale. Instead we get three stand-alone comics, each dealing with a unique monster or supernatural event. Although this is the Halloween Special, it doesn’t really tie into the holiday, which is a bit of a missed opportunity.
This issue starts strong with “The Quiescent,” a fun tale of an inept occult detective. He’s called in by a friend named Terrence to look into a strange artifact, but clearly doesn’t realize the danger he’s in by stepping foot into this creepy house. Artist Joe Becci fills this story with shadows, making the building and everything around it look ominous. This is the case from the very first page and only grows more dreadful as the tale continues.
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The main character in “The Quiescent” reminds me of Inspector Gadget in how unobservant he is about everything around him. He’s still so very positive and looks to maintain proper etiquette even when faced with something unusual and frightening such as tentacles or slime in strange places. The subtlety in this story is what makes it stand out. The horrors are in the background with the focus on the main character, so while we notice all the crazy stuff behind him, he’s still oblivious.
While “The Quiescent” opens Horrere #3 at a high bar, the other two stories fall a little flat. I will be honest and say that I just do not get “Octopus & Raven” by Mat Pringle. It looks great and has a great tone, but I have no idea what happens in this story. It has something to do with clams.
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The final tale, “Do You Want to See?”, is a little better, with two groups of people seemingly converging on the same haunted spot during different eras. Alexa Renee’s artwork is superb, particularly with the younger characters. Her work is filled with a youthful exuberance as these kids run into the woods looking for adventure and find something horrifying instead. I do like how the story alternates page-to-page between each timeline. It creates a nice effect as both sides are doing practically the same thing, so instead of seeing it more than once, you see one team do it and then the other picks up where the first left off.
Horrere continues to be a solid indie horror anthology. Although I don’t dig all of the stories collected here, there’s still more than enough to enjoy, especially with the excellent artwork. I hope to see more from this book in the future.