"Whispers in the Walls" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Humanoids
Written by David Muñoz
Illustrated by Tirso
2012, 184 Pages
Trade Paperback released on February 15th, 2012
After a mysterious creature brutally murders her parents and almost makes a meal out of her, Sarah wakes up in an old hospital. She's under a strict regiment of medication because she's infected. By what, we don't know, but it's clear that it's potentially fatal to her and everyone else. There's something odd about this infirmary though. Sarah doesn't see any other patients. She's kept by herself. She sees the body of a young boy being carried out one night, but doesn't know why. Then there's that voice in her head that's guiding her to uncover the secrets buried within this place. This is Whispers in the Walls.
This comic is a really cool concept. It takes the idea of your basic movie monsters like vampires and werewolves and turns it on its ear. In this world, humans have been fighting these creatures off for hundreds of years. They've kept to the shadows of course, but it's more like a cult following. Sarah is carrying the virus that will make her become one of these monsters. She meets a few other children that are in a similar situation but for seemingly different circumstances.
Whispers in the Walls explores this idea of monsters. Here you have this young girl who, through no fault of her own, will soon turn into a bloodthirsty beast. She still has that kind heart and innocence that children possess. Can she keep this change in check? Or should she embrace it in order to protect her newfound friends? And more importantly, who should she trust in this whole mess? Both the monsters and the humans have no problem with killing each other.
Tirso handled the art on Whispers in the Walls. His style is a perfect fit for David Muñoz's story. He manages to keep the action moving at a fast pace. The scenes with the children are simple, capturing their purity as they struggle to figure out what's going on in their lives. Tirso's art direction is also top notch. The layout for each page is different and far from the traditional rectangle panels. No space is wasted and he crams as many as twelve panels into each page. Even the smaller ones have a purpose. There are no throwaway pieces here.
The back of the book contains some bonus content including concept art, sketches, and character designs from Tirso. There are also a bunch of pinups from a variety of artists such as Daniel Acuña, Humberto Ramos, and Tim Sale. It's a nice addition to the comic.
Whispers in the Walls is a great take on monsters and how humans can be just as bad. Told from the perspective of a child, it provides a unique look at this struggle. Muñoz and Tiros deliver a story that is something a kid could read. Maybe not a four year old, but definitely a pre-teen or teenager. The characters just want to be normal and that's something that speaks to that crowd as well as people of all ages.