Madius Comics have brought us the likes of Signal 50, Funk Soul Samurai and Papercuts and Inkstains which have helped them become a strong source of some great Indie comics with Tragic Tales of Horerre #1 being another addition to that back catalogue.
It’s a collection of four stories written by Rob Jones & Michael Sambrook who bring a us a warped mix of horror tales that adds a new string to the Madius bow. First up is If You go Down to The Woods Today… with art by Neil Ford and it’s an innocent opening tale…..at least at first when a kid wakes up during the night after hearing a noise outside and he goes out to investigate. It builds on the innocence of the child until it’s flipped on it’s head and the surprise in the story is quick & powerful which is matched by the finely detailed art from Neil who captures the key moments with a great sense of feeling…..be they good or bad.
Next up is The Aufhocker with art by Alastair McLaughlin and it’s a Victorian set story with a lone figure trying to investigate the origin of the monster mentioned in the stories title. Shortest of them but probably the most atmospheric thanks to McLaughlin’s art which steeps the panels in the crackle of black & white TV as B Movie classics are remembered as you flow through the narrative.
You are What You Eat with art by Gareth Sleightholme is a grim futuristic tale where a world coping with the aftermath of a Zombie outbreak has jobs grown out of a fresh new industry. It’s a fairly straight-forward tale but the reveal is a powerful & effective one as some of the most detailed art I’ve seen in a while constructs a world dealing with a grim reality and getting through it as best they can. Some narrative and sharp dialogue grace the pages but the artwork is the power horse in this one.
Last but by no means least is Grimoire : Baby Bell Jar with art by Alisdair Wood and the longest of the stories is the most gruesome and involving as the strange goings-on in a Circus helps shape the life of one of it’s residents and year’s later she’s on the hunt to find out more. There’s a typically uneasy feeling as the freak show brings out the worst in our minds but in the midst of that we have demons & monsters that usher us along to one of the worst terrors on the final pages of a comic book…..the words “To be continued”. This is the standout tale for me as the gritty, edgy art captures the elements with an unnatural twinge that triggers an uneasy feeling that grows as the story progresses…..can’t wait to see what happens next in this one.
The four stories within Horrere are very different and that’s reflected in the art styles more than anything else as they capture the unexpected, the gruesome, the haunting & the horror that this new release aims to capture but raises the bar higher than you may have been expecting. Great individual stories combining to make a great anthology!