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"Basketful of Heads #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Black Label / Hill House Comics


Written by Joe Hill
Illustrated by Leomacs
Colored by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Deron Bennett
2019, 32 pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 30th, 2019


At long last, Hill House Comics begins with its first title, Basketful of Heads. Joe Hill oversees this pop-up imprint from DC Black Label and writes this debut comic following a young woman and her... well... basketful of heads. How did we get to this point? That's what the first issue begins to delve into.

Aside from an ominous opening shot with some super creepy dialogue, shown by letterer Deron Bennett, there's not a whole lot of heads or baskets in this issue. Much of it is spent establishing the characters and the sleepy town of Brody Island. Hill drops in a number of points that will undoubtedly play a part as the story unfolds, such as the impending storm and how it will cut the town off from the outside world.

While this is light on the scares, you can't help but get pulled into this place and the characters. Hill does a tremendous job defining them and giving you an idea of who they are and how they interact with one another. June and Liam are nothing short of adorable. They share a nice drive back into town before things start to get a little crazy. Their relationship is playful and fun and it will easily bring a smile to your face.

Click images to enlarge

This kind of establishment is perfect as we know these characters are going to be put through the wringer. Since we quickly become invested in their lives, it will allow the horror elements to pack a much bigger punch.

While Hill's story helps us identify with the likes of Liam and June, it's Leomacs' artwork that really seals the deal. That playful energy is perfectly captured in the imagery. June has this twinkle in her eye as she teases her boyfriend. Liam has a nervous energy to him, like he can't quite believe a girl like June would stick with him and he's absolutely terrified of losing her.

Basketful of Heads takes place in 1983 and it definitely has that nostalgic vibe going for it. The fashion is quintessential '80s too. Colorist Dave Stewart gives the pages an almost faded look to coincide with the time period, as if you're picking up an old photograph that's been sitting out in the sun for too long.

Click images to enlarge

Since this is the end of the summer, there's a warmness to the location that coincides with the sun going down. It's like the sun is setting not only on the day and the season, but on the last normal time in the lives of these folks. The book gets darker with each page turn, leading towards a spectacular cliffhanger that sent a shock right down my spine.

Basketful of Heads has demonstrated a huge amount of character development in its first issue. I feel like I've known Liam and June for ages instead of just a single chapter of their story. Again, this makes their imminent danger all the more impactful. I hit the final page of this comic with eyes wide and bated breath. More importantly, I'm begging for more, which is exactly the kind of feeling you should have when you hit the end of a comic like this.


Story: fivestars Cover
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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