Dave Cook already has an impressive list of titles to his name with the likes of Bust, Vessels & Killtopia, but he’s recently thrown us a psychological horror one-shot about a writer fighting creative burnout…..so that had “read me” written all over it.
The Writer in question is already wrestling with his own head and the recent loss of his friend has fuelled the writers block that had already seeped into him and it just doesn’t seem like there’s any chance that his latest creation is coming as easily as his first. As the deadline looms closer he heads out of the melting pot surrounding him and off to a secluded mountain lodge to try and find the spark he needs to get the story out of his head and onto the page.
That sliver of hope still has to overcome the hurdles he creates for himself though and as the demands of his publisher & his audience blur in a what feels like white noise, he claws his way through a flood of thoughts and doubt. Dave weaves in some horror elements that are a weird mix of madness, macabre & mental health that all feels strangely familiar which helps keep you hooked from beginning to end.
He’s teamed up with Donna A Black who has gifted us with a surreal look at what feels like multiple layers of consciousness all in one go. Frantic panels, chaotic colours and a weird mix of real & unreal images that give you the exact uneasy feeling that I’m sure Dave was aiming for. In among that uneasy feeling are the horrific suggestions of possible images beyond the pages and this fuels the hell that The Writer is going through with a real grit to it. Closing out the creative team is Rob Jones who seems to live and breathe that same level of chaos but while still keeping is anchored in the notion that this is something that could really be happening.
The whole premise of a creative block seems like a fairly simple one but Dave, Donna & Rob end up embodying a story that’s so much more than that and in fact it becomes far more than a just a comic too. It tackles the levels of self doubt that we’ve all gone through and the crippling feelings that emanate from that to stop you from achieving anything day-to-day let alone the life you have to lead in front of you. That indirect message is all too familiar but wrapped up in a crazy tale like this it ends up injecting the notion that hope can flourish from within the worst times and what you’re aiming to achieve. Uncomfortable in places but unbelievably good – it’s another book that broadens the appeal of these creators and the comics they create.
You can get your hands on a copy over on Dave’s online store and you can check in with the creators on the links below: