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"Graveyard Slaughter #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Lunchbox Press

Graveyard Slaughter 00

Written by Cullen Bunn and Kevin Watkins
Illustrated by Javier Saltares, Blacky Shepherd, Adam McLaughlin, and Gary Bedell
Lettered by Troy Peteri
2019, 48 Pages

Review:

I'm part of the last generation that will remember cruising through the local video store, looking for new and bizarre movies to terrify me and my friends during sleepovers. That's a sad thought, but fortunately, Lunchbox Press is bringing that idea to life in Graveyard Slaughter, a new anthology comic reminding us of the horrors that waited for us in VHS tapes years ago.

Graveyard Slaughter centers on a video store in a creepy town with equally creepy people around it. Instead of a traditional “host” like Uncle Creepy or the Cryptkeeper, we're treated to interstitials of the crazy and unsettling things that happen at this business. My personal favorite is what happens when a guy refuses to rewind his VHS tape. The punishment he receives is pretty severe and more than a little disturbing.

All of the stories in Graveyard Slaughter feel like they were pulled right from my childhood. Granted, I didn't spend a lot of time camping, but that's because I watched enough horror movies to know that I should stay out of the woods. As with most horror anthologies, each tale has a twist ending that can hit you like a punch to the gut. You're reading the story wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

Graveyard Slaughter 01
Click image to enlarge

There is no bad tale in this bunch, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be “Kill With One Eye Open” from writer Cullen Bunn, artist Gary Bedell, and letterer Troy Peteri. It follows a group of teenagers gathered around a campfire in the woods telling scary stories when they're attacked by a machete-wielding maniac. Yes, there's a Friday the 13th vibe at the onset, but that's where the similarities end. The plot takes a dark turn, opening up to some pretty grim possibilities. What's interesting is how it gives you all the information you need to instantly understand the ramifications of all this bloodshed. There's this “a-ha” moment at the end that's rather eye-opening. That pun will make sense after you read the book.

Bedell's artwork is a perfect fit for this story. There's a dorky innocence to the teens, like they have their whole life ahead of them so this is a night they're going to do something stupid. They fit some stereotypes we've seen in slasher movies like the dork and the jerk and that's part of what makes this such a welcome read.

The other stories in Graveyard Slaughter are of equal caliber, each delivering some solid scares. Anthologies can be hit or miss, but I can assure you this one is squarely in the hit column. Graveyard Slaughter is dripping with '80s nostalgia and covered in blood.

Lunchbox Press is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of Graveyard Slaughter.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Graveyard Slaughter Small
Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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