One of the issues I picked up at this months Edinburgh Comic Con was Quilte by the in-sync team up of John Lees & Iain Laurie and after the phenomenal And Then Emily Was Gone……it was a no-brainer for picking this up.
The story follows Dr. Karla Quilte in her day job helping people who are tormented by their own dreams but her approach is unique as she meets the sufferers and takes them by the hand to experience what they do for herself. A string of successful neutralized nightmare cases brings her success and fame in the world of healing and next at her door are the Whitlock’s. I won’t tell you much more about what happens in this as the twists and turns of Dr. Quilte’s latest case could and probably should give you a series of your own nightmares to get through.
John is quickly building himself a reputation for bringing the darker and more disturbing side of life to the surface with his approach of introducing characters and then properly fucking them up. A theme he developed in And Then Emily Was Gone and in The Standard to a far lesser extent but Quilte takes things to a whole new level. The nightmare themes are laid down by John but it’s Iain’s art that adds the real scare to them with a visceral edge and chaotic layout that looks & feels disturbing. Truth be told I wasn’t a fan of the style on some of the earlier titles he’s worked on but in recent times he’s become one of my favourite indie artists around and this is a prime example of why.
A grotesque mix of great ideas and some truly warped creations in that nightmare world beyond reality that John & Iain seem to thrive on. Joined by colourist Megan Wilson & letterer Colin Bell who add their own talents to a book that’s got an A-Team of creators working on it. My only griped would be that some sections felt a bid word heavy and disrupted the build-up of tension and flow to the book but as those parts were few and far between the negative impact was minor at most.
Warped, scary and deeply unsettling in places it manages to pack a great deal into an impressive one-shot that ends up having the feeling of those memorable Twilight Zone episodes that stick with you long after they’re finished. The whole team have combined to create a comic I’m keen to lock away but definitely read again…..I just have to remember and keep telling myself that it’s not real……it’s not real!