Clawing it’s way out from the pages of Horrere and the warped minds of Mike Sambrook & Rob Jones comes Victorian-era horror tale Laudanum which debuts at this weekends Thought Bubble in Leeds.
After the death of his wife Percy struggles to come to terms with that loss and as we are dropped right into the situation just after her funeral the uneasy feeling builds from the off. It slowly seems to become a tussle between Percy’s inability to let go and the dark, disturbing visions of his wife returning to him from beyond the grave. We don’t know the circumstances surrounding her death and it’s like we’ve stumbled into the story from a drunken night out where we don’t know what the hell is going on and that actually works in the story’s favour.
We’re as lost as Percy seems to be but as his sanity begins to come apart at the seems we’re still not sure whether it’s a bad case of the crazies or the torment descending upon him from the haunting visions he sees before his eyes. He’s desperate for answers and the approach by Sambrook & Jones ensures that we are constantly asking more questions as the story progresses. The magic of this is that it’s a mere 16-pages long which I initially thought would be more of a preview for a future story but it’s bulked out by the sinister plot they’ve weaved across those pages.
Sambrook & Jones are joined by Alisdair Wood who they have previously collaborated with on Horrere but it feels like he’s stepped up his game here. The dark seems darker and the overall effect seems to feed off that sinister plot to end up with a gruesome plot that unravels but leaves us firmly desperate for more, not so much because of the short length but because of the quality they have chosen to show off. A tale of love, loss & obsession with enough “WTF?” moments and stunning, yet disturbing artwork that has that car crash vibe of wanting to look away at times but you just can’t.
You’ll be able to get hold of the release at Thought Bubble this weekend and then on the online store shortly afterwards.