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"Hotell #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by AWA Studios


Written by John Lees
Illustrated by Dalibor Talajic
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 17th, 2020


Bobby and Muriel are on a cross-country road trip and decide to stop for a rest at the not-so-scenic Pierrot Courts Motel. What follows is a night they will never forget, not because of the odd owner or even the mysterious rainbow lake out back. No, what they'll remember is all the blood. There's quite a lot of it.

Hotell already kept me guessing with its debut issue, taking some bizarre twists and turns in one room of this seedy place. This issue takes a look at the next room over with an entirely different tale while also tying into that first chapter. Writer John Lees has shown some incredible plotting in this.

The twists keep on coming in Hotell #2. Just when you think you know where the story of Bobby and Muriel is going, it takes a sudden turn...then it does it again and again. With each new revelation, the tension and horror are heightened. We head deeper into this bizarre rabbit hole. It's absolutely crazy and it's awesome.

Click image to enlarge

I am being purposely vague here because I don't want to spoil some of the key moments in this issue. Trust me, you'll want to experience this cold.

Artist Dalibor Talajic does some brilliant work in Hotell #2. Bobby and Muriel come across as totally real and natural. This makes the horrific events that follow all the more harrowing. Much is said without having to physically say it. There is one panel that's mirrored later on that I absolutely love. It's pitch-perfect for the relationship between these two characters.

There are a few gore-filled sequences with some startling images. There's one shot in particular that really stands out. Let's just say, I haven't seen an ax used in quite that manner. Colorist Lee Loughridge makes the blood pop on the page in an unsettling fashion. It doesn't shine with a bright shade of red. Instead, it's darker, giving way to a more ominous and disturbing tone.

Click images to enlarge

Adding to the strange nature of this place is the aforementioned rainbow lake. Picture a trippy blacklight poster and you're in the ballpark. It's unnatural and eerie, standing out like something that just doesn't belong in this world, let alone behind a tiny hotel in the middle of nowhere.
Again, trying to avoid spoilers, there's a moment where things really start to go wrong where letterer Sal Cipriano uses these strangled, stilted word balloons, like it's a struggle to get the speech out. It speaks volumes.

Hotell is full of equal parts mystery and terror. It will make you think twice before making an unscheduled stop off the interstate. It hits on all marks and you most definitely do not want to miss it.


Story: fivestars Cover
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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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