Scratcher from John Ward appeared on my comic-reading radar back in 2017 and since then it’s continued to entertain & surprise me with it’s twists and turns that have brought us to the finale in issue #4.
The life of tattoo artist Dee has already been a whirlwind of supernatural surprises as John somehow managed to combine a frantic slice of horror with a slow-burning reveal into the central character herself, but that combo has meant this slipped into the list of ‘hidden gem’ titles in my head. The build-up to this final issue has seen Dee’s trusted allies help & hinder her in equal measure but the empowering ink she’s used for her unique body art is beginning to reveal a bit more of what’s been bubbling under the surface since page one of that first issue.
The unseen force that’s been pulling the strings from the shadows is only now rearing its head and the fallout from that sees Dee level up from a hero aiming to do good into something much, much darker. The grim consequences ar every real and Juan Romera nails that home with his typically moody artwork and while the story & characters have grown with each issue, he’s managed to capture the controlled plot exceptionally well. John & Juan are joined by Eric Grissom on lettering again and the consistency of every member of the team has made this easily one of my favourite series in recent times.
Scratcher proved itself to be stylish in both plot & art from early on it’s run and it’s never really looked back. It’s fresh approach to a tale of the supernatural has been finely balanced in order to let us warm to Dee herself, who managed to be mysterious but with a swagger that meant you were on her side rather than waiting to see her fail. It’s four issue run has kept a firm grip on a quality that shines through from every cover, panel & plot element but it still has an indie comic vibe at its heart through its ability to try something new.
That blend has obviously caught the attention of others as the series is now due a much-deserved mainstream release through Antarctic Press starting this September……and I’m ever hopeful to get my hands on a physical run of the whole series to add to my collection.
Check out John’s Arbutus Films website & Twitter page for news on his comic projects and check out the Antarctic Press website, Facebook & Twitter pages to find out more on the full run of Scratcher they’ll be releasing. You can also visit their booth at SDCC 2019 – Booth #2307……go see them and ask all about Scratcher 😉