House

Josh Simmons, Author . Fantagraphics $12.95 (80p) ISBN 978-1-56097-855-8

Simmons’s first solo work is a moody, claustrophobic, haunting tale, told completely without words. Three teenagers meet in the middle of the woods to explore an old mansion and discover its secrets. Their curiosity and fascination with the mystery of the abandoned place is quickly replaced with dread and rising panic. Simmons takes full advantage of the page to dwarf these characters with their surroundings. Their emotions are expressed by the growing distance between them, as one girl draws enviously away from the burgeoning romance between the other two. The pen and ink drawings are filled with wonder: discovering an underwater town, watching the sunset from the roof. But it is no coincidence that in the latter half of the book, the black on the pages overwhelms the white as the house literally swallows them whole. With a simple story, Simmons has stretched his abilities as an illustrator to create a creepy comic that is quick to read but slow to shake. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/16/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
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