James McCulloch (City of Lost Souls), Tom Ward (Merrick: The Elephant Man) & Chris Welsh (Wart) put their collective heads together and got a team assembled for new release The Grime #1, the first in a horror anthology that not only offers a new series of horror comic tales but also the chance for new talent to flex their creative muscles.
The result is five tales that firmly shifts focus away from superheroes in comics and brings the darker themes to the fore as the more violent & unhinged elements of life play out:
The Nihilist by Tom Ward and Dan Charnley
Killer be Killed by Dave Cook, Janine Van Moosel and Garry Robertson
Blinded by Chris Welsh and Kevin Allen
Free Go by Lizzie Boyle and Bekah Withers
Smash and Grab by James McCulloch and Conor Boyle
The stories are all pretty grim in their subject matter with murder, violence and monsters but if things didn’t have that vibe it would be a fail on the horror tag that comes with it. While some anthologies live or die by their consistency it’s always a gamble when putting together so many creative styles together from a group of writers & artists but thankfully all five are well suited to appear alongside each other. The balance is pitch perfect with surprises & twists slapping you in the face as true terror causes your face to grimace as you turn the page as much because you don’t want to know what’s next as you can’t face NOT knowing what’s coming.
Intricate in it’s execution the team behind this have achieved something that very few anthologies have been able to and that’s capture the essence of what horror does to your head. Disgust merges with intrigue as each story takes a step beyond the limit you think is safe and instead makes you turn more lights on and maybe even keep a lamp on while you try and sleep with your eyes open…..which is in-line with their mission to unsettle readers. Mission achieved guys, mission achieved!
The seasoned Indie creators and new talent work well together too and I’d be happy to see the same pairings work together again either on future issues of this or on their own title. Doesn’t really feel like there’s a low or negative aspect to this release which is another plus point for making this an easy entry on my “recommend” list when anyone asks what Indie’s to read and The Grime #1 helps convince me further that I may actually be a horror fan deep down, something that a few titles, including this one, have helped me realize. More of this please!!!