Despite it being the holidays, I’m in a very dark and horror filled mood content-wise. So if you’re feeling like me or need to turn off the bright lights and get away from the ever-persistent holiday commercials and ads, I suggest picking up the complete trade paperback of Winnebago Graveyard from Image Comics. A story from the terrifying mind of Steve Niles who created 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Mystery Society, Freaks of the Heartland, and more.
Niles preys on our fear of unknown territory. A family trying to bond during a road trip makes the mistake of stopping at a roadside attraction when all their senses should have been buzzing to just keep driving. Stop somewhere you know you’ll be safe, not a place that makes you want to puke on the spot. But what kind of story would this be if the family kept driving? A boring RV family comedy.
It doesn’t take long for the story to start scratching at the door of your sanity. You want to scream at the family to leave right away. As the viewer, you’re given a peek at what the family is about to walk into, and you know it’s bad. Satanic bad. But despite knowing that the family is walking into a hellscape, you have no idea what’s in store. When the story ends, you don’t feel right. It’s not tied up in a neat bow to make you feel better about what you just read. It keeps haunting you.
But all the tension doesn’t just rest in the script. Artist Alison Sampson has a bewitching talent for making every line she draws unnerving. You never have a moment of peace because even when there is no dialogue, Sampson packs in the tension on every page. There’s nowhere to escape. She draws you in even when all you want to do is look away. Sampson’s artwork is enhanced by the coloring of Stephanie Paitreau and Eiko Takayama. Who knew colors could also be creepy?
My only issue is that I wanted the story to keep scaring me.
Pick up the complete collection in trade paperback wherever graphic novels are sold today! Avoid Satanists while doing so! Or are they already surrounding you?