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Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Night Terrors Podcast. (Comic) - Writer - Roddy McCance / Artist - Roland Kalnins, (Podcast) - Writers - Roddy McCance and Jonny Murray / Design - Tony Finnegan / Actor - Jonny Murray)

Gripping and engaging, a clever idea and brilliant execution, a comic and related podcast that support and amplify each other. In 2014 Liam Cunningham, presenter of The Night Terrors Podcast vanished along with his entire on line presence. There had been 16 podcasts broadcast prior to the disappearance, podcast 17 has been mysteriously delivered "The Gamesmaster" and it is revealed that Liam Cunningham had been sent a request and a link and had taken up the implied challenge. This may have been a mistake.
The comic is dense and claustrophobic, Roddy McCance packs a lot of story into four pages.The naaration pulls the reader directly into the events as the unfold and the steady accumulation of detail is gripping. Roland Kannins' art is stunning, the black and white art is packed with details and is horribly suggestive of off panel nastiness. Liam is disheveled to begin with, the progress of fear and anxiety is marked and  effective. The details of the game as they unfold are dark and threatening, the sound effects add to the atmosphere. The panels are used to control the pace of the story with great skill, there is a great deal of work done in a small time.
The podcast is superb, Roddy McCance and Jonny Murray have written a script that never sounds anything other than the spontaneous narration by Liam as he follows the challange he has been give. They also solve one of the biggest problems in horror, why would someone do something stupid that leads them into trouble? It becomes clear that Liam is driven by curiosity and vanity and these motives consistently push him forward in the face of clear details that would suggest other wise. Jonny Murray conveys the enormous range of emotions that Liam is trying to keep under control as he moves through the game, he is talking to himself and an audience at the same time. 
The comic and the podcast reach area that the other cannot and they amplify each other brilliantly, pictures without sound and sound without pictures, they mix and match with tremendous force in the reader's imagination.The care taken in the detail of the art in the comic is matched with the care taken in the sound in the podcast, the details that surround Liam's voice are evocative and unsettling.
For any story the medium is extremely important, it has a huge influence on the story possibilities, this is a really smart use of the possibilities of a website to view deliver different aspects of the story in different ways that combine very successfully to create a much stronger story.  The Night Terrors Podcast can be found here,, read,listen and enjoy the pleasures of very talented creators confidently delivering a sharp story.
Chief Wizard Note: Many thanks to Roddy McCance for sending me the link and giving me the chance to enjoy the substantial pleasures of The Night Terrors Podcast

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