Severed

Scott Snyder, Author, Scott Tuft, Author, Attila Futaki, Illustrator
Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft, and Attila Futaki. Image, $24.99 (200p) ISBN 978-1-60706-529-6
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For those who believe that violence and gore are the principal hallmarks of an engaging graphic horror story, Tuft and Snyder (Batman; American Vampire) make the case that exemplary storytelling is essential as well. Severed follows the story of Jack Garron, a 12-year old who runs away from home in order to find his father when he discovers the truth about his own identity. What Garron discovers, however, is that as exciting as life on the road can be, it can also be a place of hardship, heartbreak, and, indeed, terror. When Garron crosses paths with a free-spirited girl named Sam, things begin to look up. But when they meet the mysterious Mr. Fisher, things go in a very different direction. What impresses is the sophistication with which Snyder and Tuft manage to develop Jack’s relationship with Sam, while also showing how Jack’s naïveté must eventually have consequences. Futaki’s artwork is exceptional, mixing fine-lined horror aesthetic with homespun characters. Although the story is perhaps not strongest in its climactic moments—when readers must be a bit more conscious of their suspension of disbelief—Severed combines the verbal and the visual to present a haunting story. (Apr.)
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