cover image Lamentation


Cullen Bunn and Arjuna Susini. Oni, $19.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-63715-230-0

Bunn (the Bloodborne series) and Susini (Heist) team up for a thrilling Gothic horror about an aspiring actor trapped in a never-ending rehearsal of a mysterious new production. Opening night is just around the corner when Jennifer Simms answers an ad by the Requiem Theatre to audition for Razide’s Lament. She’s given a part on the spot by director Marguerite Lansing (“I’m quite familiar with your work”), who then reveals that the entire cast is trapped, as in a dream, in the theater until the premiere. “Time doesn’t work like it should here,” one spaced-out castmate remarks. Jennifer joins the actors practicing on stage, as the narrative jumps between the script, which features three sisters seeking shelter from a storm at Prince Razide’s castle, where one of them will be forced to marry him after tragedy befell his previous bride, and Jennifer’s attempts to evade a jealous costar and investigate the inner workings of the ominous theater. Blood appears on stage from nowhere, yet none of Jennifer’s castmates seem curious when opening night will ever take place, or who is the actor playing the masked prince. As the oddities ramp up­, Jennifer realizes she must find a way out on her own. While the narrative’s central conceit of interlacing horror tropes with feminist commentary on how marriage (and/or an acting career) can be a trap has been done before, the elastic facial expressions by Susini and nuanced palette of shadowy blues and glowing blood-red by colorist Hilary Jenkins amplify Bunn’s eerie tale. This one is sure to raise goosebumps. (Nov.)