By Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, Stephane Paitreau and Aditya Bidikar
It’s hard to have a decent horror comic these days. No matter how creepy something is, sometimes it’s difficult to step away from the fact that it’s a picture book. While the script may be scary, horror thrives on film. Every now and then, a book will come along that has the right look and a good enough story to be creepy and actually make you think about it after you put the issue down. Winnebago Graveyard is a series that does all of the above. If you were somewhat interested in the series to begin with, Steve Niles name on the front should sell you.
This issue picks up where the second one leaves off. The family is on the run in an unfamiliar area, which is scary, and they have no help or phones. This is the issue that really packs a punch for the series. Niles has been building up the family for a couple of issues, but we now see how much they care for one another as they try to save and help each other out of this crazy situation. Niles also gives us an explanation as to what the town does with its stranded guests, and it’s not tea and Backgammon. As you read the issue, you can feel the intensity pick up, and this all comes to a head as the issue ends and we really question where our characters go from here.
The pencils this issue are handled by Alison Sampson with colors by Stephane Paitreau and letters by Aditya Bidikar. The art in this issue is extremely important. Without an excellent job in the art department, this book would flop. Alison Sampson brings an eerie style to the series that is clean, but dark and gritty too. At times, the art in this issue can be uncomfortable. An example would be as the family is exploring an abandoned RV, they suspect they are being followed. A close panel of the father pulling back a weapon is very uncomfortable and in-your-face. It’s almost as if he’s attacking the reader. If there is one gripe about the pencils, it’s near the end of the issue, a creature shows up and attacks. Some of these panels are a bit hectic, which may be the point, and you will have to stare at them to see what all is happening in the panels. The colors by Stephane Paitreau are very complementary to the pencils. Reds and blues are used frequently to show heightened sense of danger and calmer moments. There isn’t a lack of blood or gore, and it’s all wonderfully colored by Paitreau. The script for this issue is good, but the art is what really allows it to get under your skin.
For a short little mini-series, Winnebago Graveyard is a creepy tale. There shouldn’t be any doubt that Steve Niles could scare you, but you can’t say enough about the art. This series is an overall success so far thanks in large part to the dedication put in by everyone involved.