cover image Silk Hills

Silk Hills

Brian Level, Ryan Ferrier, and Kate Sherron. Oni, $24.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-63715-038-2

Level and Sherron (the Chained to the Grave series) with Ferrier (the Rat Queens series) put a frightfully fun spin on established Moth Man lore, though with a script that relies heavily on the reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief. Beth Wills, a retired marine sergeant turned private investigator, travels to a mining town on a missing persons case. Able Partridge, son of the town’s wealthy mill operator, has disappeared after getting involved with “bug dust,” an absurdly effective hallucinogenic drug. However, as Beth soon finds out, nothing is as it seems in this backwater town, not even the local deer. The mysteries multiply as Beth uncovers the town’s shady history, discovers the truth behind Abel’s disappearance, and tangos with a peculiar species of insect. Sherron’s animated art, employing a textured brush look painted over clearly inked designs, and colors that change with the mood of scenes, gives the world an organic and lived in quality. But the plot-driving mechanics of the drug and its visions can be inconsistent, with fuzzy exposition (“He visited within, during dreams. Now staying”). In this crime mystery with more twists than turns, there are threads left loose, but it should draw to the flame fans of dark mysteries and supernatural horror stories. (May)