"Brian Keene's Fear" Graphic Novel Review


Written by Gabino Iglesias


Published by Frequency Press



Written by Nate Southard
Illustrated by Federico Zumel, Alberto Aprea and Roy Anthony Amado
2006, 88 pages

Graphic Novel released in 2006



The goodie bag I received at the World Horror Convention a few months ago had a few treats that truly made my day. Among those, I found Brian Keene's Fear, a Frequency Press tome containing three of Keene's tales turned into graphic short stories with scripts by fellow horror author Nate Southard and art by Federico Zumel, Alberto Aprea and Roy Anthony Amado.

The three stories have a very distinctive look and touch on some of the key elements in Keene's work. The first story, Red Wood, is probably the least entertaining one in the book. The art, a combined effort with pencils by Federico Zumel and inks by Alberto Aprea, is a tad too crowded and the rendering of the woods sometimes seems to overpower every other visual element on the page. Also, although the writing is tight and Southard did a great job of scripting the story, Red Wood, even if it has that creepy, violent Keene touch, lacks that fantastic hardcore punch that most of his stories have and that I absolutely love.

The second story, Castaways, scripted by Southard and illustrated by Roy Anthony Amado, is again classic Keene: fun, strange, sexy and violent. My gore-loving side would have loved to have all the torn flesh plainly visible, but the story still works in a Lovecraftian way: you enjoy and fear what you see as much as what is left to the imagination. The art has a classic, bold look to it that works really well and the obvious pokes at mainstream reality television are a nice treat. The archetypical personalities portrayed and the voluptuous girls almost popping out of their bikini tops are just an added bonus.  

The third and last story, The King, In = Yellow is actually a Lovecraftian tale in every sense of the word. The art, done by Alberto Aprea, has an exquisite amount of detail and is set against a black background that helps the action pop out of the page. The script, again by Southard, is impeccable in this final story. Besides being a nice, eye-pleasing read, the tale has enough dead music gods to keep any music lover thoroughly entertained. Strange sex, mass murder and a never-ending cycle of evil make this the best tale in the book.

Brian Keene's Fear is a nice addition to the bookshelf of any fan of Keene's work. If you enjoy strange tales, give this one a try. Nevertheless, if you're a fan of graphic novels, don't expect to get the best consistency on the artwork here.




Red Wood




The King, In = Yellow


Brian Keen's Fear





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