By Caitlin Kittredge, Inaki Miranda, Dave Johnson, and Eva de la Cruz.
Dark fantasy and noir writer Caitlin Kittredge is finally breaking into the world of comics with the new horror comic Coffin Hill. The book is a dark look into what people will do for power and retribution. Kittredge delivers a fantastically strange new world, and despite some small failings, the book does a good job of standing on its own.
Coffin Hill follows the story of Eve Coffin, a member of an old New England family that dates back to the time of Salem. This issue jumps between two pivotal moments in Eve’s life, as a cop in the present day and as a rebellious teenager who dabbles in black magic. After a gunshot wound during her time as a cop, Eve returns to Coffin Hill, her ancestral home, and finds that the dark forces she unleashed as a teenager still pervade the place she grew up.
Kittredge sandwiches the two story lines between each other, and uses the teenage story as a sort of origin for our main character. While this choice in story design is creative, at first it makes the book feel unconnected. After Eve is rushed to the hospital from her gun wound and we rewind 10 years, there is no direct correlation to the jump in the story. It isn’t until the last page of the book that we find out the connection between the two stories. Besides the disconnection, Kittredge handles her story masterfully. Eve is the troubled protagonist perfectly suited for the haunted backdrop. Kittredge could almost be establishing her as an anti-hero, which could add an interesting layer to the story that has already begun to unfurl.
The art in this book is crafted perfectly with the story. Inaki Miranda provides a dark, rich atmosphere to the pages, pulling the tone of the story straight into the images in the panels. Miranda does a wonderful job in creating visceral scenes that are jarring to the reader. Coupled with Eva de la Cruz’s colors, the drab panels meet great contrast when the bright hues of blood splash across the page.
Kittredge provides an interesting tale that, despite the short comings, stands up to what she is attempting to accomplish. The story is intriguing, and I look forward to seeing the world Kittredge will show me.