"This Nightmare Kills Fascists" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by A Wave Blue World
Edited by Eric Palicki and Matt Miner
2018, 178 Pages
It's saying something that there's a ton of inspiration for horror stories out in the world today. People are fearful of what their politicians are going to do to affect their lives. Misogyny, climate change, and immigration are just some of the topics making headlines right now. This Nightmare Kills Fascists uses these as fuel for an impressive array of horror comics. The anthology features 18 stories from some amazing creators, each dealing with different issues and fortunately, they don't all revolve around the 45th President of the United States. These are just some of the contributors to this anthology: Justin Jordan, Matt Miner, Tini Howard, Vita Ayala, Christopher Sebela, Ryan K. Lindsay, and Ryan Cady.
Usually when you go through an anthology there are a few good stories and a few not-so-good ones. It's just the way these things shake out. This Nightmare Kills Fascists sets a high bar from the very first tale and keeps it going through the end. It is consistently well done. This could have all just devolved into a bunch of Trump-bashing. Instead, the comics deal with a number of very important issues through the lens of horror, giving you a new perspective on them.
|Click images to enlarge|
This makes choosing a favorite rather difficult. I'll highlight a few stories that really stand out, but again, there's not a bad one in the bunch. “The Pledge” by Ryan Ferrier and Kelly Williams puts a spin on the “Dude-Bro” stereotype that comes with college fraternities. During a hazing process of some freshmen, they end up inadvertently summoning a demonic entity during a ritual involving a goat. This animal stares out with soulless eyes as it wreaks havoc amongst the fraternity brothers. Blood and fire erupt within the building and no one is safe.
Although it's tough to pick a favorite, “Dear Jane” by Michael Wernke and Juan Castro definitely gets the award for the most brutal. A woman wakes up in a cabin with no idea how she got there. A series of hand-written notes guide her through the building where she discovers horrific murders. The end is an awesome twist that immediately elevates it to new heights of terror. My jaw hit the floor when I got there. Damn.
|Click images to enlarge|
What makes the stories in This Nightmare Kills Fascists all the more frightening is how close to reality some of the stories are. You can see how some of these can happen. Granted, some of them deal with otherworldly monsters or werewolves, so those are a little less likely (but only a little). Meanwhile, a tale like “Thank God” by John Bivens and Katy Rex shows how unsettling religion can become when engrained within government. It takes it to an extreme that is absolutely chilling.
I could go on and on about this book. This Nightmare Kills Fascists is a solid anthology through and through. Obviously it's a little left-leaning on the political spectrum, but it handles this with deft precision. It puts these vast concepts that have been argued about in Congress and online for ages into a much-needed relatable context. That makes it all the more important.