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Friday, October 7, 2016

Candleman. Don Smith (writer), Kurt Belcher (Art), Chris Allen (Colours & Letters). WP Comics (2016)

Very engaging and gripping short horror comic. A man stranded in a deserted motel finds that local legend has more presence than he imagined.
Horror can benefit strongly from the compression that comes with a short form comic, the set up and pay off have to be established quickly and effectively, which is a considerable challenge for a writer. Don Smith makes it look easy with this story, the pacing is perfect, the situation is established with precise economy and the the follow through is grippingly nasty.
Kurt Belchers art is a pleasure to read, the Candleman himself is very striking and the develops strongly as the action proceeds. The impact of the action on the Candleman is captured vividly and used very thoughtfully. He moves from being a simple bogeyman to becoming something much more terrifying and the art carries the burden of showing the transition without missing a beat. The panel layouts control the pace of the story very well, they create the room for the story to have the length it needs to e effective within a short comic format.
Colouring is a key aspect to any horror comic, the colours are a subtle emotional key for the reader, they bring out the aspects that the writer and artist way to emphasise. Chris Allen's colours drive the story vividly, they use light and shadow to great effect, in particular they give depth and weight to the art and words. The Candleman is a suitable grotesque figure, the colours add to his credibility and in one panel that is concerned with eyes, the colours make every horrible detail stand out.
The letters are quiet and natural, they flow with the story and never distract from it. The different speech patterns are clear. The sound effects are loud, horrible and exactly what the story needs to leap off the page at the reader.
A very satisfying short comic from talented creators who make the best use of the format.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Kim Roberts. To purchase a copy of Candleman, you should to treat yourself to a really well crafted comic, you can purchase it  from http://www.wpcomicsltd.com/comics

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